Pappalardo Fellows

Pappalardo Fellow in Physics: 2019-2020; 2023-2025
NASA Hubble Fellow: 2020-23

Katelin Schutz

Name: Katelin Schutz

Title: Pappalardo Fellow in Physics: 2019-2020; 2023-2025;
NASA Hubble Fellow: 2020-2023


Phone: (617) 253-4852


MIT Department of Physics
77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 6-307
Cambridge, MA 02139

Related Links:

  • Pappalardo Fellowships at MIT

    Area of Physics:

    Theoretical Nuclear & Particle Physics; Theoretical Astrophysics

    Research Interests

    Katelin Schutz works at the interface of theoretical particle physics, astrophysics, and cosmology. Her aim is to recover every bit of information about what our Universe is made of by considering how astrophysical systems would be affected with the addition of new particles and interactions. While primarily a theorist, Schutz sometimes gets her hands dirty with the data. In the course of thinking about astrophysical signs of new physics, she has harnessed the constraining power of:

    • the cosmic microwave background, the afterglow of the Big Bang;
    • the formation of large-scale cosmological structure, which causes our Universe to look clumpy (in the sense that galaxies are spattered around and not uniformly distributed);
    • the epoch of reionization, when the first stars and galaxies were “switched on”;
    • our galaxy, the Milky Way;
    • dwarf galaxies, mini-galaxies that are dominated by dark matter;
    • supernovae, extremely high-energy explosions of stars;
    • millisecond pulsars, which are the most stable clocks in our Universe (including atomic clocks made in laboratories on Earth).

    The search for new particles and interactions is at somewhat of a crossroads: while we know that the Standard Model of particle physics is incomplete, there have been few hints of what nature has in store. With that in mind, Schutz plans to continue with a multipronged strategy on the astrophysics front, helping to ensure that no stone goes unturned. A major focus of her work is to determine what dark matter is made of, but she is also interested in the electroweak hierarchy problem, the strong-CP problem, inflation, the origin of the neutrino mass, and the nature of dark energy.

    Biographical Sketch

      Katelin Schutz grew up in upstate New York. She was an undergraduate at MIT and benefitted enormously from UROPs with Max Tegmark, Alan Guth, David Kaiser, and Tracy Slatyer. In 2014, Katelin moved to UC-Berkeley for her PhD with the support of the Hertz Foundation and the National Science Foundation. When not thinking about our Universe, Schutz enjoys traveling and all things culinary.

    Selected Publications

    • Yonit Hochberg, Eric Kuflik, Robert Mcgehee, Hitoshi Murayama, Katelin Schutz, “Strongly Interacting Massive Particles through the Axion Portal,” Phys.Rev. D 98 (2018) no.11, 115031, arXiv:1806.10139 [hep-ph].
    • Mark Vogelsberger, Jesus Zavala, Katelin Schutz, Tracy Slatyer, “Evaporating the Milky Way halo and its satellites with inelastic self-interacting dark matter,” arXiv:1805.03203 [astro-ph.GA].
    • Katelin Schutz, Tongyan Lin, Benjamin R. Safdi, Chih-Liang Wu, “Constraining a Thin Dark Matter Disk with Gaia,” Phys.Rev.Lett. 121 (2018) no.8, 081101, arXiv:1711.03103 [astro-ph.GA].
    • Katelin Schutz, Adrian Liu, “Pulsar timing can constrain primordial black holes in the LIGO mass window,” Phys.Rev. D 95 (2017) no.2, 023002, arXiv:1610.04234 [astro-ph.CO].
    • Katelin Schutz, Kathryn Zurek, “Detectability of Light Dark Matter with Superfluid Helium,” Phys.Rev.Lett. 117 (2016) no.12, 121302, arXiv:1604.08206 [hep-ph].

    Last updated on February 20, 2020 2:34 PM