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Name: Jocelyn Monroe
Title(s): Assistant Professor of Physics
Assistant: Jeanne Glasheen (617) 253-2361
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Area of Physics:
Jocelyn Monroe's research is on searching for dark matter, mysterious particles that make up ~20% of the universe, which is about 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 very small particle energies—as little as one-millionth the energy released in a single 235U nuclear fission. Monroe works on the MiniCLEAN direct detection experiment, a liquid argon dark matter detector located more than a mile underground in SNOLAB (in Sudbury, Ontario), with emphasis on distinguishing neutron scattering backgrounds from dark matter interaction signals.
Monroe also works on developing a new kind of detector to search for the dark matter wind with the DMTPC collaboration at MIT. 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 Monroe joined the MIT Physics Department in September 2009 as an Assistant Professor. From 2006-09 she was a Pappalardo Fellow in MIT's Laboratory for Nuclear Science, working on the SNO solar neutrino oscillation experiment, and the DMTPC directional dark matter search. 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.
- J. Monroe and P. Fisher, "Neutrino Backgrounds to Dark Matter Searches," Phys. Rev. D76:033007, 2007.
- D. Dujmic et al., "Observation of the Head-Tail Effect in Nuclear Recoils of Low Energy Neutrons," arXiv:0708.2370, accepted to NIM, 2007.
- A. A. Aguilar-Arevalo et al., "A Search for Electron Neutrino Appearance at the Delta m^2 = 1 eV^2 Scale," Phys. Rev. Lett. 98:231801, 2007.
- A. A. Aguilar-Arevalo et al., "Measurement of Muon Neutrino Quasi-Elastic Scattering on Carbon," arXiv:0706.0926, submitted to Phys. Rev. Lett., 2007.
- J. Monroe et al., "Design and Simulation of Muon Ionization Cooling Channels for the Fermilab Neutrino Factory Feasibility Study," Phys. Rev. ST Accel. Beams 4:041301, 2001.
Last updated: 04.01.2013