Dark Matter in the Swamp

Hosted by Dr. Andreas Enqvist

Nuclear Engineering Program Seminar Series

Thursday, October 20, 2016                 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.                Rhines Hall, 125



Dr. Karl van Bibber

Professor and Chair of Nuclear Engineering

UC Berkeley



Dark Matter in the Swamp



A preponderant fraction of the matter in the universe is in an unknown form, almost certainly not the ordinary matter making up planets, stars, and galaxies. Experiments are being mounted around the world which may finally determine the nature of the dark matter, very likely constituted of a yet-undiscovered elementary particle from the time of the Big Bang. Few Gators know of the pioneering role that University of Florida scientists have played in the campaign to discover the axion, one of the two leading dark matter contenders, beginning in the early 1980’s. Even less well known is the role that technologies from the accelerator and magnetic fusion programs have played in the history of the development of the axion experiment. This talk with culminate with recent results from a microwave cavity search for dark matter axions in the high mass range.



Karl van Bibber did all his university studies at MIT in experimental nuclear physics. After postdoctoral work at LBNL, he served as an Assistant Professor of Physics at Stanford. He joined Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where he founded and led the High Energy Physics and Accelerator Technology Group, and later served as Chief Scientist for the Physical and Life Sciences Directorate, and Deputy Director of the Science and Technology Office. In 2009 he became Vice President and Dean of Research of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. In 2012 he joined the faculty of UC Berkeley as Professor of Nuclear Engineering, acceding to Department Chair in July 2012. He also serves as Executive Director of the Nuclear Science and Security Consortium, a DOE Office of Non-Proliferation center-of-excellence. His research focuses on basic and applied nuclear science, particle astrophysics, and accelerator science and technology. He is the recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, the DOE Deputy Secretary Award, and the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award for the establishment of degree and executive education programs in Energy, the first within the DoD. He is a fellow of the APS and AAAS.