Newburgh’s drones help calibrate Brookhaven National Laboratory telescope

group of people with drone

The Wright Lab team includes 3 undergraduates, 2 graduate students and a postdoctoral associate. Read more.

Assistant professor Laura Newburgh has been developing an innovative technique to calibrate radio telescopes across the world, in particular CHIME in Canada and HIRAX in South Africa, using radio sources attached to hexacopter drones.  Yale’s strong research partnership with Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) has allowed Newburgh a unique opportunity to collaborate with cosmologists at BNL to field test these drones in calibrating BNL’s experimental prototype radio telescope, called the Baryon Mapping Experiment (BMX). “We enjoy an exciting collaboration where both groups get to learn things,” Newburgh said. “BMX can gain understanding about its polarized beams, we can learn how well our drone calibrator is working, and we are gaining crucial knowledge for the community in planning future 21cm arrays.” Read more.

Graduate student Backes builds dark matter detector and community

Backes has been awarded two fellowships by the department and has been very active  in advocacy, service, outreach and educational programs while at Yale.  Read more.

Kelly Backes has been a crucial member of the team developing the HAYSTAC axion dark matter experiment, working with professors Steve Lamoreaux and Reina Maruyama. Backes implemented the first quantum squeezed state receiver system in a particle (astro) physics experiment, bringing together the fields of quantum information and particle physics in an unprecedented way. She designed the RF circuitry that controls the squeezed state receiver, couples it into the RF cavity that is the heart of the detector, and also guides signal paths to the data acquisition system. She wrote the acquisition and analysis software packages to control the squeezed state receiver system and incorporated computational parallelization. Backes also independently developed the software package that will acquire months of continuous dark-matter-sensitive data and control the mechanics of the experiment, including the optimization and alignment protocol for the quantum-limited amplifier system. Her research supervisor says this will be a watershed breakthrough in the axion dark matter field.   Read more.

Latest CUORE release improves understanding of the neutrino

people building instrument. Wright Lab researchers, part of an international collaboration called the Cryogenic Underground Observatory for Rare Events (CUORE), are searching for evidence of a rare particle process called neutrinoless double-beta decay. Finding it would have profound implications for understanding neutrinos — the ghostly, plentiful particles that pass through most matter in the universe without being affected themselves. The process might also help explain why there is more matter in the universe than antimatter (which has the same mass as matter, but an opposite electric charge). While the new result did not show evidence of neutrinoless double-beta decay, it yielded a better idea of a neutrino’s mass during such a process. The CUORE group at Yale has been responsible for the design, construction, and commissioning of the CUORE Detector Calibration System, in the analysis and simulation of CUORE and CUORE-0 data, and in research and development for CUPID, the successor to CUORE.  Read more.

Learn more about Yale Physics discovery on our Research page and in our News.