Compact Muon Solenoid
The Compact Muon Solenoid detector at CERN. (Michael Hoch/CERN)

UC Davis Physics and Astronomy Receives $7.4M DOE Grant

The UC Davis Department of Physics and Astronomy has received a $7.4 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy. The three-year grant will support more than 70 faculty and students (undergraduate and graduate) pursuing experimental and theoretical research in topics including the Higgs boson, neutrinos, dark matter and quantum physics.

“The coming years promise to be a very exciting phase in physics and cosmology, and we at UC Davis are making excellent use of the strong support we have received from DOE,” said John Conway, professor of physics.

The grant builds on previous UC Davis research made possible by funding through the DOE Office of Science. The Office of Science has supported research by faculty, researchers and students in the Department of Physics and Astronomy for more than 50 years, Conway said.  

Projects funded in the most recent grant include:

  • Experiments at the Compact Muon Solenoid Experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, which discovered the Higgs boson in 2012.
  • Design and construction of the large underground neutrino experiment DUNE, being built at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in North Dakota.
  • The search for dark matter particles left over from the Big Bang deep underground with the LUX-Zeplin (LZ) experiment at SURF.
  • Construction of the Mu2E experiment at Fermilab in Illinois, which will search for ultra-rare conversions of muon particles to electrons.
  • Operation of the Vera Rubin Observatory in Chile, scheduled for completion in 2021.
  • Analysis of data from cosmic microwave background experiments, elucidating the evolution of the universe just after the Big Bang.
  • Theoretical study of new models of cosmology and particle physics aimed at explaining the many mysteries still remaining, and searching for new mathematical frameworks which could lead to rewriting the basic laws of physics.

Becky Oskin, content strategist in the College of Letters and Science

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