Astro Particle Physics
CP-Violation and Supersymmetry at Particle Colliders
Direct Detection of Dark Matter
- Associate Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Hawai'i at Manoa
(2015 – present)
- Assistant Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Hawai'i at Manoa
(2010 – 2015)
- Project Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
(2008 – 2010)
- Postdoctoral Fellow, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
(2003 – 2008)
- Ph.D., Princeton University, 2003
- B.S., Physics and Electrical Engineering, UCLA, 1997
The Vahsen group is investigating high-resolution imaging of ionization in gas detectors. Improvements in this area of instrumentation may one day help us answer some of the big unanswered questions in Physics, such as whether our Galaxy (the Milky Way) resides inside a halo of dark matter particles, and how these dark matter particles are moving.
The group has developed a series of novel Time Projection Chambers where ionization is detected with micro-pattern gaseous detectors (MPGDs). These detectors reconstruct the ionization from nuclear recoils in three dimensions. Prototypes have been successfully used for directional detection of fast neutrons as part of the BEAST II project, at KEK Laboratory in Tsukuba, Japan. The group is currently building a medium scale directional dark matter detector (as part of D3 project), and working on the design of two larger detectors, CYGNUS HD-10 and CYGNUS.