ATLAS External Grants Priscilla Pani (YIG)  · 

On Top of Dark Matter

Helmholtz Young Investigator Group of Priscilla Pani (2018-2024)

Research activities

Uncovering the identity of Dark Matter is a central and grand challenge for both fundamental physics and astronomy of this century. In the high energy proton-proton collisions at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, particles that were present in the early universe can be recreated and studied in detail. The focus of the Young Investigator's Group (YIG), is to search and study Dark Matter particles produced at the LHC and recorded by the ATLAS experiment. The success for unravelling the mysteries of Dark Matter is founded on a synergic partnership between particle and astro-particle physics, therefore the YIG is integrated into the DESY ATLAS group (campus Zeuthen) and closely linked to Humboldt University.

The YIG's research focus on the particularly interesting possibility that the interaction between ordinary matter and Dark Matter is mediated by new scalar particles that extend the Higgs sector. In these models, the Higgs boson partners act like a portal to a new Dark Sector, to which Dark Matter particles belong. As the Higgs particle, these new mediators interact strongest with the heaviest particles, and therefore are characterized by enhanced interactions to heavy flavour quarks (top and bottom quarks). The YIG research focuses on three complementary channels which have the highest discovery potential and sensitivity to Dark Matter properties: Dark Matter with top pairs, b-quark jets or a single top quark. Two auxiliary measurements will be pursued to address the critical challenge of maximising the experimental sensitivity to these channels: a differential cross section measurement of the single top process and a novel b-tagging calibration using Z-bosons as standard candles. The group is also involved in the upgrade of the ATLAS Inner Tracker for the High-Luminosity LHC, though the definition of the quality control chain of the module hybrids (burn-in crate).

Candidates interested in Bachelor, Masters or PhD theses are welcome to contact me any time

Group members


Group Leader


PhD students

Master students

Bachelor students


Priscilla Pani

Baishali Dutta

Ben Bruers
Marianna Liberatore


Contact Information

Priscilla Pani
Phone: +49 (0)33762 7 7390
E-Mail: Priscilla Pani
Location: 3L / 24
Platanenallee 6, 15738 Zeuthen, Germany

ATLAS Collaboration, "Constraints on mediator-based dark matter models using √s=13 TeV pp collisions at the LHC with the ATLAS detector", ATLAS-CONF-2018-051


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