Laboratory Experiments

kavli ccd teaser

The Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (SuperCDMS) is an experiment seeking to detect relic weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs), a leading dark matter candidate, directly in a laboratory via elastic scattering on nuclei.

Presently, our knowledge of the Universe comes from observing the light that is radiated by stars; from the spectacular light shows that accompany the explosive births and deaths of stars; and ancient light from the Big Bang itself. But is not be the only messenger to carry the secrets of the distant Universe to us. Many of these spectacular events also emit gravitational waves. Gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of space and time that were predicted to exist by Einstein in 1916. They are very faint, however, and have never been directly observed.

Research in MKI’s Space Nanotechnology Laboratory (SNL) (Dr. Mark Schattenburg, director) seeks to apply micro/nanofabrication technology and precision engineering to achieve lightweight, high-performance and high-resolution optical components. The advanced optics and diffraction gratings developed by the lab are targeted to both space- and ground-based instrumentation in the x-ray and IR bands.