My research focuses on outstanding problems in particle physics and astrophysics. Among the biggest unsolved problems in these fields is understanding the nature of Dark Matter (DM). DM makes up about 85% of the matter density in the Universe, yet little is known about its particulate nature and non-gravitational interactions with particles in the Standard Model. Many well-motivated models of DM (e.g. axions and WIMPs) predict feeble couplings to Standard Model particles that can leave unique footprints in carefully designed terrestrial experiments and extreme astrophysical settings. Seeking out experimental techniques and astrophysical laboratories that are particularly well-suited to DM searches is one of the main objectives of my research.
Another outstanding problem in astrophysics is related to emission mechanisms in magnetars, highly magnetic, rotating neutron stars. While we are nearing an understanding of emission in pulsars, much less is understood about magnetars, owing in large part to the complicated strong-field effects at play . There remain questions about where in the magnetar magnetosphere and how coherent radio emission is sourced, how many particles are truly present in the magnetosphere, and the connection between magnetars and the enigmatic Fast Radio Bursts.
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