NPI and SPIRAL2 cooperate on the New JEDI project

27. 07. 2021

On July 1, 2021, the French Institute of Prague at Štěpánská Street hosted the conference „Does the force from the Dark side of the Universe exist“? The keynote speaker at the conference was nuclear physicist and astrophysicist Dr. Beyhan Bastin. She works in the French laboratory GANIL on the New JEDI project and she is also the main spokesperson of the project.

The New JEDI project involves scientists from several countries and laboratories: mainly from France (GANIL, IPN Orsay, IP2I Lyon), Italy (INFN-LNS) and the Czech Republic (NPI of the CAS in Řež). Some members of the project who visited the Prague conference used their local presence to participate in the experiment in the Czech Republic too.

The New JEDI project, whose acronym is also a reference to the Jedi knights and "Dark Side of the Force" from the Star Wars movies, seeks to contribute to the study of dark matter through nuclear physics measurements as part of the study of the so-called dark sector. The aim is to prove - or refute - the existence of the so-called dark boson, a particle mediating the hypothetical fifth physical force (in addition to the already known four forces of the Standard Model of particle physics). The new force with its interaction transfer particles could be a bridge with the hitherto unknown dark matter sector. The study is motivated by anomalies recently observed in the of e+e decays of excited states of beryllium 8Be and interpreted as the "signature" of a hypothetical dark boson.

Should a dark boson exist, it will manifest itself in many reactions with light nuclei. Some of the foreseen reactions may also shed additional light on the dynamics of few nucleon systems, relevant for the precision Big Bang Nucleosynthesis studies. Measurements will take place at several facilities: Aramis-Scalp, Andromede, SPIRAL2 in France, and Tandetron in NPI of the CAS. The capabilities of these facilities cover the full set of particle beams needed for the New JEDI project.

The conference was also attended by the leader of the SPIRAL2-CZ project Jaromír Mrázek, who is one of the speakers of the New JEDI project. The event took place in English and was broadcast online on the Facebook webpage of the French Institute of Prague, its recording can be viewed here.