Highlights

Over the past a few months, the Dark Energy Survey (DES) collaboration reached several major milestones paving the way for the upcoming survey in the Fall of 2012. The DECam imager arrived at CTIO on Nov. 23 and has been readout successfully in the cold room of the Blanco Telescope on Dec. 6. Preliminary tests… More »

Despite 100 years since the first discovery of cosmic rays, we still do not know what these particles are at the highest energy. The Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina is able to detect cosmic rays above 1017 eV with high accuracy due to its hybrid detection technique. Studying the distribution of Xmax, the position in… More »

As described previously in this space, the COUPP Collaboration uses bubble chambers to search for dark matter particles. We just finished a run of our 4 kg bubble chamber in the deep underground site of SNOLAB in Northern Ontario. This run was successful in many ways, particularly in demonstrating the reach of the acoustic rejection… More »

DECam Update

Starting in 2012 and continuing for 5 years, the Dark Energy Survey (DES) will use its newly constructed camera, DECam , to observe a large swath of the southern sky out to vast distances in order to provide new clues about the nature of dark energy – or why the universe’s expansion is accelerating. The… More »

SuperCDMS

CDMS – Things are Cooling Down! The search for Dark Matter is competitive and exciting. Last spring we had a little too much excitement in the Soudan Underground Laboratory with a fire that caused an uncontrolled end to a SuperCDMS R & D run. Fortunately, the damage to the SuperCDMS project was minor and we… More »

Do we live in a hologram? The number of large spacial dimensions is a question that has periodically resurfaced over the years. Theories derived from black hole thermodynamics state that the area of an event horizon is sufficiently large to hold all of the quantum information of the particles that conspired to make the black… More »

Weak lensing tomography is becoming a competitive method of constraining cosmology and dark energy. Tomography, as opposed to cosmic shear, concerns itself with the change in lensing shear with the redshift of the source (background) galaxies. This becomes particularly powerful when used on fields containing massive galaxy clusters whose mass can be constrained in multiple… More »

DM-Ice is a new experimental initiative.  By building a 250 kg array of NaI crystals within the volume of the IceCube neutrino detector, DM-Ice will provide a direct check of the DAMA dark matter result.  DAMA/LIBRA and its predecessor, DAMA/NaI, are the only experiments that claim to have observed dark matter interacting with ordinary matter. … More »

Recent results from the CDF collaboration have found a 3.2 sigma deviation from the predictions of the Standard Model in the lepton + missing energy + di-jet channel. With Joachim Kopp and Ethan Neil of Fermilab’s Theoretical Physics group, Matthew Buckley and Dan Hooper of the Theoretical Astrophysics Group have proposed that this anomaly is… More »

The Dark Energy Survey (DES) will probe the origin of the accelerating universe and help uncover the nature of dark energy by measuring the 14-billion-year history of cosmic expansion with high precision. A 570M-pix camera, the DECam, is being built for this project and  comprehensive tests were successfully accomplished at Fermilab’s telescope simulator (pictured above). … More »