We do not know what eighty percent of the Universe is made of. This is not an exaggeration. We have stared into the cosmos for millennia, reshaped the world we inhabit in irreversible ways, brought home carved-out pieces of other worlds as well, but we do not know what eighty percent of the Universe is made of. This missing mass in the universe, called Dark Matter, is the subject of my research.
At the heart of it, I am interested in telling a Dark Matter story: the characters in this story change from project to project, so do their behaviours and motivations, but the overall structure remains the same. Think Hero’s Journey but populated with the most fundamental interactions in our universe. What this means is that a lot of my (and my collaborators’) time is spent
- thinking about stories not told yet: is there a new model we can look at? Or a new signature we can ask our experimentalist friends to hunt for?
- identifying which stories are plausible: which models are interesting from a search perspective? How do our proposed models manifest at the largest and smallest scales in the universe?
- retelling existing stories in exciting ways: are there certain effects that have been overlooked in the literature? Can we take what is known, flip it on its head entirely, and learn something new?
We do not know what eighty percent of the Universe is made of but humans, as a species, are curious and passionate and determined. We have buried experiments deep into the heart of the Earth and sent satellites into space in an effort to see something. But even though we know Dark Matter is there, from the structure of our universe, from the movement of stars, from tiny fluctuations in ancient light, it eludes our experiments, its microphysical properties just slightly out of reach. Through my research, I attempt to quantify these properties and understand how theory and experiment can be used in tandem to navigate and transform the truly expansive terrain of Dark Matter physics.
You can find a complete list of my publications on Inspire.