Graduate Position, University of Toronto – CUTE

Graduate Position, University of Toronto – CUTE

A photo of the Andromeda Galaxy. Photo credit: Bryan Goff.

This position is open to those with or finishing an undergraduate degree in physics, or related equivalent who have a strong interest in dark matter detection and experimental physics. This opportunity is flexible in term, and may be a 4 year Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or a 1+4, 5 year accelerated Master’s of Science (MSc) to PhD position depending on the interest and situation of the successful candidate.Domestic and International candidates are welcome to apply.

The successful candidate will work on the Cryogenic Underground TEst (CUTE) experiment in preparation for SuperCDMS, located at SNOLAB in Sudbury, Ontario under the supervision of Prof. Miriam Diamond at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario. On-site and on-campus work will be a major component of this position, and the project includes working with simulations as well as real data from the CUTE experiment.

The potential project would include:

  •  Detailed validation and improvement of the detector simulation (GEANT4-based), including the transport of charge carriers and phonons in the crystal and the collection of phonons in the sensors
  • Analysis of CUTE data, and of early data from the full experiment
  • On-site and remote-monitoring shifts for CUTE operations and for the commissioning of the full experiment

Interested candidates are encouraged to contact Miriam before applying. You can find how to apply to the University of Toronto for graduate positions here. Please note that the deadline to apply is December 15, and applications are encouraged to be submitted as early as possible for full consideration.

More about the project:

SuperCDMS is a direct-detection experiment that looks for interactions of dark matter in cryogenic germanium and silicon detectors equipped with sensors for the thermal energy of particle interactions. Applying a high bias voltage across these detectors amplifies the ionization signal into a large phonon signal that can also be measured.  The clean, well-shielded detectors are operating deep underground, to avoid interference from cosmic rays.  The chief advantage of SuperCDMS’s cryogenic technology is the extremely low detection thresholds achievable, which provides sensitivity to very feebly-interacting WIMPs as well as a variety of lower-mass dark matter candidates.

SuperCDMS operated in an underground laboratory in Soudan, Minnesota until 2015.  Now, the collaboration is building an even more powerful version of the experiment in SNOLAB, Canada’s world-leading astroparticle physics facility located 2 km below the surface in the Vale Creighton Mine near Sudbury.  The University of Toronto group will be working alongside groups from several other Canadian universities, including TRIUMF/UBC, Queens, and l’Université de Montréal, who play important leadership roles in the international collaboration and have grown rapidly in recent years.  

Construction of SuperCDMS SNOLAB is currently underway, with commissioning expected next year and first operations expected in 2023. Meanwhile, several test facilities, including a Cryogenic Underground TEst (CUTE) facility at SNOLAB, are already operating to support the detector characterization.

More about the position:

Joining Miriam’s research group ensures attendance at (minimum) one local conference plus one international conference per year, attendance at (minimum) one summer school or workshop series (e.g. TRISEP ), access and encouragement to complete SciNet courses on scientific computing, access to the University of Toronto Centre for Graduate Professional Development courses and workshops, and access to University of Toronto Teaching Assistants’ Training Program courses and workshops.