Unraveling the Dark Matter Mystery: In Theory and Experiment
with Prof. Matt Pyle & Dr. Sinéad Griffin
Monday, November 4, 2019 at 6:30-8:00 PM
3 LeConte Hall, UC Berkeley
Doors at 6pm for Science, cider and snacks!
Join us for a conversation between a Theorist and an Experimentalist, both pursuing the search for Dark Matter. What is dark matter? For decades, firm astronomical evidence from observations of stars and galaxies has indicated that most of the matter in the universe cannot be seen directly in telescopes. Instead, this matter must be observed indirectly through its gravitational pull on the objects that we can see. This is how the term “dark matter” was coined…But how do we search for something we can’t see?
Matt Pyle received B.S. in Physics (2001) and B.E. in Aerospace Engineering (2002) from the University of Notre Dame, and a Ph.D. in Physics from Stanford University (2012). Subsequently, he crossed the bay and was a post-doctoral researcher at Berkeley. He joined the Berkeley Physics faculty as the Garland Assistant Professor in 2015. “Many of the questions that we would like to ask about the nature of the universe today, for example “could dark matter be composed of particles with mass less than that of a proton?”, are simply impossible to answer with present technology. My goal is to develop these new detector technologies and then employ it to find answers to these questions. Currently, my group is focused on optimizing the design of massive low temperature calorimeters for the SuperCDMS low mass experiment as well as for other nuclear physics applications (primarily neutrinoless double beta decay).”
Sinéad Griffin received her PhD from ETH Zürich in 2014. From 2015-18 she was an SNF postdoctoral fellow at UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab, becoming staff scientist in both the Molecular Foundry and the Materials Science Division in 2018. Griffin received the Swiss Physical Society Award for General Physics in 2017 and a Berkeley Lab Early Career LDRD in 2018. She is also actively involved in promoting science in Africa, and since 2010 has lectured throughout the continent as part of the African School on Electronic Structure: Theory and Applications (ASESMA). “My research uses a combination of analytical and computational methods to understand, manipulate and design functional properties in quantum materials. These include magnetic, multiferroic and topological order, with applications ranging from quantum information science to next-generation microelectronics. I’m particularly interested in the interface between condensed matter science and high-energy physics, and my work currently includes the design of materials for dark matter detection.” Sinéad Griffin’s website