REU Topic: Astrophysics and Cosmology

    Prof. Bill Holzapfel
    Students will be engaged in the analysis of data from the South Pole Telescope (SPT). The SPT is a 10-meter dish located at the South Pole which is currently mapping Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) with an unprecedented combination of resolution and sensitivity.  We have recently discovered that emission from some satellites can produce rare detectable signals in the data that we would like to robustly remove [...]
    Prof. Dan McKinsey
    The particle nature of dark matter is not known, but the mass range of MeV/c^2 to GeV/c^2 range is relatively unexplored. Low-background detectors with low energy thresholds may be used to search for nuclear recoils induced by such dark matter particles. Superfluid helium is a promising target for such an experiment, but characterization of its scintillation, phonon, and roton signals is needed at sub-keV energies [...]
    Prof. Saul Perlmutter
    Our research group is working on multiple projects that are measuring the properties of our expanding universe with the goal of understanding the underlying physical laws. Most of the projects design instruments and collect data on supernova explosions in distant galaxies [...]