Matter, Forces and the Universe
Third-party funded project
Project title Matter, Forces and the Universe
Principal Investigator(s) Antusch, Stefan
Project Members Hammad, Ahmed
Cazzato, Eros
Cefalà, Francesco
Torrenti, Francisco
Organisation / Research unit Departement Physik / Theoretische Physik (Antusch)
Project start 01.10.2017
Probable end 30.09.2021
Status Active

The aim of the research project is the development and precision testing of models beyond the Standard Models of particle physics and cosmology, towards a more fundamental theory of Matter, Forces and the Universe. To identify possible building blocks of a more fundamental theory, and to investigate how to probe them with the data of future experiments, my research project focuses on three challenges, associated with three subprojects.

Subproject A: One of the great challenges of the present Standard Model (SM) of elementary particle physics is the origin of neutrino masses. In subproject A we plan to contribute towards resolving this open question by investigating systematically how the mechanism of neutrino mass generation can be probed best in future experiments, in particular at possible future electron-positron, proton-proton and electron-proton colliders such as the ILC, FCC-ee, CLIC, CEPC, HL-LHC, FCC-hh/SppC, LHeC and the FCC-eh.

Subproject B: Towards the challenge of identifying a more fundamental theory framework behind the SM of elementary particles, subproject B will contribute to the development of (more) predictive Grand Unified Theory (GUT) models, exploring for instance new classes of models in SO(10), as well as to the development of tools for their precision analysis (focusing on GUT predictions for baryon number violating nucleon decays, sparticle masses and neutrino properties).

Subproject C: When constructing models for the early universe, one of the great challenges is linking the phase of cosmic inflation to the later phase of the universe where, e.g., the matter-antimatter asymmetry and the dark matter are produced. In subproject C we will contribute to clarifying this link by calculating the intermediate "reheating phase", including the production of gravitational waves and non-perturbative phenomena like "oscillons", after particle physics motivated classes of "hilltop" and "hybrid-like" inflation models.

In addition to these individual research directions, also the interplay between solutions to the three challenges will be explored. The results will be relevant for the design of future experiments and the clarification of their physics potential, and will lead to new candidate theories which can then be confronted with the combined data of running and future experiments.

Keywords Neutrino physics, Grand unified theories, Early universe cosmology
Financed by Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)

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