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The George P. and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy

Research Labs


Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS)

The CDMS group is leading (along with Stanford) the detector development for next-generation dark matter detectors utilizing cryogenically cooled semiconductor detectors with Transition Edge Sensors. They are involved in fabrication of CDMS detectors, starting from bare Ge/Si crystals and going through a series of steps involving characterization of the crystal purity, detector grade polishing, followed by thin film deposition and photolithographic patterning of the transition edge sensors, to fully characterizing the thin films at room temperature using Scanning Electron (SEM) microscopy, Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), as well as He4 cryogenic testing of the films.

» Visit Rupak Mahapatra

Collider Physics Group

The Texas A&M Collider Physics Group studies Particle Physics at the high energy frontier, taking a leading role in the high profile search for new particles, especially in supersymmetry. This group works on both the CDF experiment at FNAL, which features proton-antiproton colliding beams at 2 TeV energy, and the CMS experiment at CERN, which features proton-proton collisions at 7 TeV energy. Both are designed to explore new physics beyond the Standard Model.

» Visit Toback Collider Physics Group

Munnerlyn Astronomical Instrumentation Laboratory

The Munnerlyn Astronomical Instrumentation Laboratory designs and builds astronomical instruments for several international scientific collaborations, including the Dark Energy Survey (DES), the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT), and Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX). Among many notable projects and contributions is the Visible Integral-Field Replicable Unit Spectrograph (VIRUS), a massively replicated fiber-fed optical spectrograph built in collaboration with UT-Austin that enables observations for the HETDEX project, an experiment that will study the nature of Dark Energy. The lab is currently designing the GMACS spectrograph, a wide field, multi-object, moderate-resolution, optical spectrograph that has been selected as one of three first-light instruments for the GMT.

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Searching for Dark Matter using Noble Liquids and Gasses (LUX/LZ)

Searching for dark matter has long been a component of our high energy physics experimental program. Over the past decade, our Texas A&M team has become a leader in the design and construction of detectors using noble liquids to search for dark matter (Zeplin, LUX and LZ), and other exotic processes (neutrinoless double beta decay, NEXT). To build these detectors requires the combination of precision machining, high vacuum technology, high voltage technology, cryogenics, and advanced photon detection methods. Once built, such instruments have the ability to observe energy depositions due to dark matter interactions as small as a few keV in these massive (7 tonnes) detectors

Mitchell Institute Computing

The Mitchell Institute has “big computing” capabilities using the Brazos Cluster at Texas A&M. This site provides extensive resources for data analysis and simulation for both theory and experiment. It provides the Tier 3 Computing Home for the A&M Group on the CMS Experiment. It is the A&M/CDMS Computing Project Home and also provides Phenomenology Computing. In the future it is expected to be used by Astronomers in the Institute. Internationally, this resource helps the Mitchell Institute and Texas A&M make the experiments more competitive in the world-wide stage, thus further leveraging our role on each.

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Accelerator Research Lab (ARL)

The Accelerator Research Lab (ARL) at Texas A&M is pioneering magnet, RF cavity, and accelerator technology for future high energy colliders, light sources, and other devices. The TAMU magnet series has demonstrated stress managed block dipoles can achieve high fields (>14 Tesla) and obtain world record ramping times. The RF group works in collaboration with Jefferson National Lab to test properties of superconducting materials. Currently ARL is focused on Accelerator-based Destruction of Actinides in Molten Salt, or ADAMS. This system uses a high energy accelerator to destroy nuclear waste and provide the world energy for the next 2000 years.

» Visit Accelerator Research Laboratory