Professor Jocelyn Monroe

Research interests

Jocelyn Monroe's research is on searching for dark matter, mysterious particles that make up ~25% of the universe, approximately five times more than all the particles we know about! The existence of dark matter is inferred from its gravitational interactions, but it has never been directly detected in a terrestrial laboratory. Direct detection experiments seek to observe dark matter particles scattering off of atomic nuclei, inside very low background detectors that measure tiny particle energies—as little as one-millionth the energy released in a single uranium nuclear fission.

 

Jocelyn Monroe collaborates on the DEAP-3600 and DarkSide-20k direct detection experiments.  DEAP-3600 is a liquid argon dark matter detector located more than a mile underground in SNOLAB (in Sudbury, Ontario), which is currently taking data.  The next-generation DarkSide-20k experiment will run from 2021, in the LNGS underground laboratory (in Italy).  The goal is to develop a kilotonne-scale observatory for dark matter and solar neutrino physics.  Jocelyn Monroe also works on developing a new kind of particle detector to search for the dark matter wind with the DMTPC project. The motion of the earth through the galaxy should create an apparent wind of dark matter particles, blowing opposite to the direction of the earth's motion. Detecting the dark matter wind direction is potentially a powerful discriminator between a dark matter signal and terrestrial backgrounds.  Jocelyn's research group is now applying this new detector technology to high-resolution imaging of neutrino interactions, with the HPTPC project.

 
Biographical Sketch

Jocelyn Monroe joined the RHUL Physics Department in 2011, founding the Dark Matter & Neutrino research group within the Centre for Particle Physics.  From 2009 she was an Assistant Professor in the MIT Physics Department.  From 2006-09 she was a Pappalardo Fellow in MIT's Laboratory for Nuclear Science, working on the SNO solar neutrino oscillation experiment and as a founding member of the DMTPC project. Monroe earned her Ph.D. from Columbia University in 2006, where her dissertation research was on the MiniBooNE accelerator neutrino oscillation experiment. From 1999-2000, she was an Engineering Physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, where her research was on the physics of muon beam cooling. Monroe earned her B.A. in Astrophysics from Columbia University in 1999.

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