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Quest for Dark Matter Comes to Royal Holloway

Posted on 23/11/2011

Dr Jocelyn Monroe

Scientists at Royal Holloway, University of London have been awarded a one million pound European Research Council grant to support a new search for the mysterious and as yet unseen part of the universe, dark matter.

Dark matter is believed to account for 85 per cent of the universe’s mass but the properties of these non-luminous particles are unknown and have remained invisible.

Dr Jocelyn Monroe, who has recently joined the Department of Physics, has started the new dark matter experimental group as part of the DEAP/CLEAN collaboration to develop a new kind of detector.

DEAP/CLEAN is a liquid argon dark matter detector programme, located in SNOLab in Ontario, Canada. The goal of DEAP/CLEAN is to develop a kilotonne-scale observatory for dark matter and solar neutrino physics.  Dr Monroe’s focus on DEAP/CLEAN is distinguishing neutron scattering backgrounds from dark matter interaction signals and in data-analysis efforts to search for signals of new physics.

She says: “Dark matter is one of the most profound mysteries in science today and nobody has figured out how to see it yet. This detector has the potential to be a completely new observatory and open a new window into the universe.”

To hear Dr Monroe talking about the project in more detail view her research video on the Physics Department's news pages.  


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