School of Humanities and Sciences
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Professor of Particle Physics and Astrophysics and of Physics
BioWhat were the first objects that formed in the Universe? Prof. Abel's group explores the first billion years of cosmic history using ab initio supercomputer calculations. He has shown from first principles that the very first luminous objects are very massive stars and has developed novel numerical algorithms using adaptive-mesh-refinement simulations that capture over 14 orders of magnitude in length and time scales. He currently continues his work on the first stars and first galaxies and their role in chemical enrichment and cosmological reionization. His group studies any of the first objects to form in the universe: first stars, first supernovae, first HII regions, first magnetic fields, first heavy elements, and so on. Most recently he is pioneering novel numerical algorithms to study collisionless fluids such as dark matter which makes up most of the mass in the Universe as well as astrophysical and terrestrial plasmas. He was the director of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology and Division Director at SLAC 2013-2018.
Professor of Physics and of Particle Physics and Astrophysics
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsObservational astrophysics and cosmology; galaxies, galaxy clusters, dark matter and dark energy; applications of statistical methods; X-ray astronomy; X-ray detector development; optical astronomy; mm-wave astronomy; radio astronomy; gravitational lensing.
Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor of Natural Science and Professor of Photon Science, of Applied Physics and of Physics
BioPhil Bucksbaum holds the Marguerite Blake Wilbur Chair in Natural Science at Stanford University, with appointments in Physics, Applied Physics, and in Photon Science at SLAC. He conducts his research in the Stanford PULSE Institute (https://web.stanford.edu/~phbuck). He and his wife Roberta Morris live in Menlo Park, California with their cat. Their grown daughter lives in Toronto.
Bucksbaum was born and raised in Iowa, and graduated from Harvard in 1975. He attended U.C. Berkeley on a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship and received his Ph.D. in 1980 for atomic parity violation experiments under Professor Eugene Commins, with whom he also has co-authored a textbook, “Weak Interactions of Leptons and Quarks.” In 1981 he joined Bell Laboratories, where he pursued new applications of ultrafast coherent radiation from terahertz to vacuum ultraviolet, including time-resolved VUV ARPES, and strong-field laser-atom physics.
He joined the University of Michigan in 1990 and stayed for sixteen years, becoming Otto Laporte Collegiate Professor and then Peter Franken University Professor. He was founding Director of FOCUS, a National Science Foundation Physics Frontier Center, where he pioneered research using ultrafast lasers to control quantum systems. He also launched the first experiments in ultrafast x-ray science at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Lab. In 2006 Bucksbaum moved to Stanford and SLAC, and organized the PULSE Institute to develop research utilizing the world’s first hard x-ray free-electron laser, LCLS. In addition to directing PULSE, he has previously served as Department Chair of Photon Science and Division Director for Chemical Science at SLAC. His current research is in laser interrogation of atoms and molecules to explore and image structure and dynamics on the femtosecond scale. He currently has more than 250 publications.
Bucksbaum is a Fellow of the APS and the Optical Society, and has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has held Guggenheim and Miller Fellowships, and received the Norman F. Ramsey Prize of the American Physical Society for his work in ultrafast and strong-field atomic and molecular physics. He served as the Optical Society President in 2014, and also served as the President of the American Physical Society in 2020. He has led or participated in many professional service activities, including NAS studies, national and international boards, initiatives, lectureships and editorships.
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsObservational cosmology. Dark energy. Weak gravitational lensing.
Preparing for science with the Legacy Survey of Space & Time (LSST).
Member of the LSST Dark Energy Science Collaboration.
Stanley G. Wojcicki Professor
BioFor five years up to mid-2015 has been Spokesperson for the SuperCDMS (Cryogenic Dark Matter Search) collaboration with twenty-two member institutions, which mounted a series of experiments in the Soudan mine in northern Minnesota to search for the dark matter in the form of weakly interacting massive particles or WIMPs. This direct detection effort has lead the world in sensitivity for much of the past ten years and utilizes novel cryogenic detectors using germanium and silicon crystals operated below 0.1 K. The completed CDMS II experiment operated 4 kg of germanium and 1 kg of silicon for two years and set the most sensitive limits at the time for spin-independent interactions for WIMPs masses above 40 GeV/c2. The SuperCDMS Soudan experiment operated 9 kg of germanium until the end of calendar 2015.
He was selected for a three-term as Project Director, through mid 2018, for the approved second generation (G2) SuperCDMS SNOLAB experiment which will operate 30 kg of Ge and Si detectors in the deeper SNOLAB facility in Canada. The project searches for low mass WIMPs (0.1 - 10 GeV/c2) and the cryostat facility will allow future upgrades to search down to the solar neutrino floor. It has recently been approved for full construction by the DOE and NSF.
William R. Kenan Jr. Professor, Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology and of Energy Science and Engineering
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsSynthesis, functionalization and applications of nanoparticle bioprobes for molecular cellular in vivo imaging in biology and biomedicine. Linear and nonlinear difference frequency mixing ultrasound imaging. Lithium metal-sulfur batteries, new approaches to electrochemical splitting of water. CO2 reduction, lithium extraction from salt water
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, Freeman-Thornton Chair for the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Professor of Physics
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsExperimental & Observational Astrophysics and Cosmology
Hamamoto Family Professor
BioWhat is the origin of mass? Are there other universes with different physical laws?
Professor Dimopoulos has been searching for answers to some of the deepest mysteries of nature. Why is gravity so weak? Do elementary particles have substructure? What is the origin of mass? Are there new dimensions? Can we produce black holes in the lab?
Elementary particle physics is entering a spectacular new era in which experiments at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN will soon shed light on such questions and lead to a new deeper theory of particle physics, replacing the Standard Model proposed forty years ago. The two leading candidates for new theories are the Supersymmetric Standard Model and theories with Large Extra Dimensions, both proposed by Professor Dimopoulos and collaborators.
Professor Dimopoulos is collaborating on a number of experiments that use the dramatic advances in atom interferometry to do fundamental physics. These include testing Einstein’s theory of general relativity to fifteen decimal precision, atom neutrality to thirty decimals, and looking for modifications of quantum mechanics. He is also designing an atom-interferometric gravity-wave detector that will allow us to look at the universe with gravity waves instead of light, marking the dawn of gravity wave astronomy and cosmology.