Dr James A. Nikkel

Personal profile

I received my B.Sc. in physics from the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada in 1994.  My senior research topic was on the growth and characterisation of high Tc superconductors.

My Ph.D was awarded in 2003 by Kent State University in Ohio, USA.  My dissertation revolved around the properties of an interesting Ising/spin glass family of materials, LiHoF4.

I went on to do postdoctoral work at Yale University in Connecticut, USA, where I completely changed direction from condensed matter to particle physics.

 I joined Royal Holloway in the Spring of 2012 as a Lecturer in the Particle Astrophysics Group.

Research interests

I am broadly interested in low energy particle detection technology and specifically with the development of neutrino and WIMP dark matter detectors using liquefied noble gasses.  I am currently involved with measurements on the fundamental properties of noble scintillation and photon transport.  In addition to small experiments, I am a member of the LZ collaboration, a multi-tonne scale liquid xenon detector being designed as an upgrade of the LUX experiment.  

Over the last few years I have been involved with the LUX dark matter search (xenon based), superfluid and turbulence studies (helium based), and detectors for national security applications (argon based).  Along with microCLEAN (which ran with both argon and neon) and a krypton based calibration source, I've covered most of the noble gasses.

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