Department of Physics & Astronomy

Nader Mirabolfathi

Associate Research Professor

Nader Mirabolfathi

Biography

Physics is advancing through one of its most exciting cycles. In spite of the enormous progress in physics, our understanding of the universe from very large scales (Dark Matter and Dark Energy) to very small scales (Standard Model) is seemingly not complete. The abundant and growing evidences that the baryonic content of the universe comprises less than 5% of its total mass make the searches for rarely interacting Dark Matter a very exciting adventure since any outcome from those searches directly affect the physics at very small scales (high energy). The current approach for deciphering the nature of this ubiquitous Dark Matte (DM) is divided between searches for DM particles at both high (~ 100 GeV/c^2) and low masses (~ GeV/c^2). Due to the very low recoil energy expected from the elastic scattering of lower mass DM particles, detectors with very low detection thresholds and very low radioactive backgrounds are required . Phonon mediated detectors have been shown to be excellent candidates for detecting low mass DM due to the multiple handles they provide to discriminate DM interactions from the radioactive backgrounds. SuperCDMS is currently running at Soudan Underground Laboratory and was recently selected to continue as one of the two major generation 3 (including ADMX axion searches) DM search experiments at SNOLAB laboratory in Canada.

After more than 12 years working with two prominent phonon mediated DM search experiments: CDMS and EDELWEISS, I've joined TAMU physics faculty to develop new large mass detectors with thresholds as low as 1 eV to search for very low mass DM particles using phonon mediated detectors. TAMU's DM search group which is one of the largest amongst SuperCDMS collaboration is equipped with a detector fabrication facility. My research closes the detector R&D cycle by providing a 3He-4He dilution refrigerator test facility to validate new DM detector designs for future generation of DM searches.

The detector technology that my group is developing can also be used to detect Coherent Elastic Neutrino Nucleus Scattering (CENNS), which is a well predicted standard model interaction but has never been measured. I am also involved in designing an experiment using reactor neutrinos to detect and measure CENNS cross sections.

Research Interests