Physics, Applied Physics & Astronomy

Experimental—Particle Astrophysics

The nature and structure of matter and energy remains one of mankind’s leading research frontiers. The faculty members involved in this area are engaged in experimental and theoretical studies of the fundamental interactions of matter at sub-femtometer distances. Another research focus is on the direct detection of dark matter with the XENON100 and XENON1T experiments operated in the LNGS laboratory in Italy. Research & development efforts for these and future dark matter experiments addresses xenon purification techniques to operate the most radiopure detectors in the world.


Experimental research in the astrophysics group focuses on near-field cosmology, in which local galaxies are studied as examples to understand the properties of the Universe, including dark matter and dark energy. We particularly focus on the dynamics and structure of the Milky Way as revealed by large, international photometric and spectroscopic surveys such as the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and the Large Area Multi-Object Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST), and by astrometric surveys such as Gaia. Dwarf galaxies are ripped apart by tidal forces in the Milky Way into tidal streams.


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