SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
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Professor of Particle Physics and Astrophysics and of PhysicsOn Leave from 10/01/2023 To 06/30/2024
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.
Associate Professor of Particle Physics and Astrophysics
BioI am an observational cosmologist, and an experimental physicist. I build ultra-low-noise detectors using superconducting and quantum sensing techniques, and use them in experiments and instrumentation for cosmology. I currently spend most of my time investigating the inflation paradigm of standard cosmology, using the cosmic microwave background (CMB). Recently, I've become interested in using the weak lensing of the CMB in conjunction with galaxy surveys to study the growth of large-scale structure in the universe.
I received my PhD in particle astrophysics from Caltech in 2012, working on direct detection of WIMP dark matter with the CDMS-II experiment. I then shifted my effort to searching for inflation with the CMB. I was a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford through 2015 before being appointed as a Wolfgang Panofsky Fellow at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. In 2017, I won a DOE Office of Science Early Career Award to work on new signal transduction and superconducting multiplexing techniques for next-generation CMB cameras. In 2020, I was appointed as a Lead Scientist at SLAC, and in 2023, I was appointed Associate Professor of Particle Physics and Astrophysics at Stanford and SLAC. I serve as CMB department head in the Fundamental Physics Directorate at SLAC. I also serve as scientific project manager for the bring up of SLAC's Detector Microfabrication Facility for the development of superconducting and quantum sensors and devices.
Alcatel-Lucent Professor of Communications and Networking and Professor of Particle Physics and Astrophysics
BioAlex Aiken is the Alcatel-Lucent Professor of Computer Science at Stanford. Alex received his Bachelors degree in Computer Science and Music from Bowling Green State University in 1983 and his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1988. Alex was a Research Staff Member at the IBM Almaden Research Center (1988-1993) and a Professor in the EECS department at UC Berkeley (1993-2003) before joining the Stanford faculty in 2003. His research interest is in areas related to programming languages.
Professor of Particle Physics and Astrophysics and, by courtesy, of Physics
Dan Akerib joined the department in 2014 with a courtesy appointment, in conjunction with a full-time appointment to the Particle Physics & Astrophysics faculty at SLAC. He has searched for WIMP dark matter particles since the early 1990s, first with the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search and more recently with the LUX and LUX-ZEPLIN projects. His current interests are in extending the sensitivity to dark matter through expanding and improving time projection chambers that use liquid xenon as a target medium. Together with Tom Shutt, he has led the establishment of a Liquid Nobles Test Platform at SLAC. The group specializes in detector development, xenon purification, and simulations, and has a broad range of opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students to participate in hardware and software development, as well as data analysis.
- AB 1984, University of Chicago
- Ph.D. 1990 Princeton University
- Research Fellow, California Institute of Technology, 1990 - 1992
- Center Fellow, Center for Particle Astrophysics, UC Berkeley 1993 - 1996
- Assistant Professor, Case Western Reserve University, 1995-2001
- Associate Professor, Case Western Reserve University, 2001-2004
- Professor, Case Western Reserve University, 2004-2014
- Chair, Case Western Reserve University, 2007-2010
- Professor, Particle Physics & Astrophysics, SLAC 2014 - present
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.
Professor of Particle Physics and Astrophysics, Emeritus
BioI have worked for more than 45 years in experimental particle physics, often in developing new kinds of electronics and instruments critical to the detectors that enable the physics experiments of interest. In 1965 through 1971, I was involved in the electron scattering program at SLAC. The deep inelastic experiments that discovered the scaling and point like structure in the nucleon, later interpreted as quarks, was my Ph.D. thesis. I then spent a year at CERN, mostly doing an experiment on minimum bias behavior of proton-proton scattering at the newly operating Intersecting Storage Rings. Despite intentions to stay longer at CERN, I was persuaded by Professor Richter to return to SLAC and join his SPEAR storage ring group. In the 1974 “November Revolution”, we discovered the and ’ particles, soon interpreted as bound states of charm-anti-charm quarks, which caused essentially complete acceptance of the quark model as real. Another critical discovery at SPEAR was the lepton, leading to the third family of the Standard Model.
Subsequently Professor Charles Baltay and I were co-spokesmen of the SLD, a comprehensive large detector for the SLAC Linear Collider (SLC), where we did Z physics, particularly polarization asymmetries possible because of the SLC polarized electron beam which led to a (correct) prediction of the Higgs mass, and precision b physics with a 300 MPixel CCD vertex detector.
I am now involved in the design of a detector for the International Linear Collider which may be built in Japan, which has led to substantial involvement in Si detector sensors and associated readout ASIC’s. I believe we have developed the first wafer scale sensors with on sensor traces leading to a relative small area “readout system on a chip” that delivers processed digital signals to a DAQ.
I also work on a search for neutrinoless double beta decay (02) in 136 Xe. The 02 experiment utilizes a liquid xenon TPC requiring ultra-low background materials, techniques, and locations, which was an education into rather different experimental techniques from collider detectors.
I am working on a new concept for an e+e- linear collider called C^3 for the Cool Copper Collider. The Cool Copper Collider (C3) is an advanced concept for a high energy e+e- linear collider. It is based on a new SLAC technology that dramatically improves efficiency and breakdown rate. C3 uses distributed power to each cavity from a common RF manifold and operates at cryogenic temperatures (LN2, ~80K). This makes it robust at high gradient: 120~MeV/m.
C3 is a promising option for a next-generation e+e- collider. It has the potential to reach energies of up to 1 TeV, which would allow it to study the properties of particles that are difficult to access with current experiments. C3 is also relatively affordable, which makes it a more viable option than some of the other proposed linear colliders.
Finally, these recent experiences have led to exploratory collaborative efforts in neuroscience, where we believe our SLAC expertise in sensors and electronics could be rather synergistic with Stanford efforts in tACs and in neural recording probes.
Professor of Particle Physics and Astrophysics, Emeritus
BioRecipient of the Watkins Physics Award and Visiting Professorship by the Watkins Foundations at Wichita State University in November, 2017.
Awarded the International Pomeranchuk Prize for 2015.
The Pomeranchuk Prize is a major international award for theoretical physics, awarded annually since 1998 by the Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics (ITEP)
from Moscow to one international scientist and one Russian scientist, It is named after Russian physicist Isaak Yakovlevich Pomeranchuk, who together with Lev Landau,
established the Theoretical Physics Department of the Institute. The Laureates for 2015 were Professor Victor Fadin and myself.
Recipient of the 2007 J. J. Sakurai Prize in Theoretical Physics, awarded by the American Physical Society.
Honorary degree of doctor scientiarum honoris causa (dr.scient.h.c.) from Southern Denmark University
Alexander von Humboldt Distinguished U.S. Senior Scientist Award in 1987
Chair of the Hadron Physics Topical Physics Group (GHP) of the American Physical Society, 2010.