University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy
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Hassan Chagani

PAN 323 (office), 624-4806
PAN 43 (lab), 624-6046
chagani @ physics.umn.edu

Summary of Interests
Super Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (SuperCDMS) experiment

About My Work

The objects you see around you everyday are made up of atoms, which can be broken down into the fundamental particles electrons and quarks. We call this baryonic matter. This matter not only describes the table you sit at or the chair you sit in, but the planet or star you view in your telescope. The amazing thing is that baryonic matter accounts for approximately 5% of the total mass of the Universe. In other words, we cannot account for 95% of the total matter in the Universe!

It is thought that 25% of the total matter of the Universe is something called 'Dark Matter'. It is termed 'dark' due to it's limited interaction with baryonic matter. We can only see something that interacts. One hypothesis is that Dark Matter is a particle we have yet to discover.

The SuperCDMS experiment attempts to detect these particles through interaction with germanium bolometers placed deep underground at Soudan mine. As the probability for a dark matter particle to interact with germanium is so low, we try to block out all other forms of radiation to improve our chances of seeing an event. By going underground, we minimize interactions with cosmic rays, and through gamma and neutron shielding we reduce the number of incident particles from background radiation. Even the materials we encase our detectors in are radiopure.

At the University of Minnesota we have a testing facility which allows us to cool down these germanium bolometers to 50 mK. We carry out detector characterization tests, and conduct research and development work with the aim of improving both detector design and readout.

Education

B.Sc. University of Leeds 2003
M.Sc. University of Manchester 2005
Ph.D. University of Sheffield 2008