Welcome. I am James Battat, a Pappalardo Fellow in the Physics Department at MIT. My research addresses a major conundrum in physics: what is the nature of the dark energy and the dark matter that together comprise 96% of the mass-energy in the Universe? I work with the Dark Matter Time Projection Chamber (DMTPC) collaboration to build detectors that can sense the direction of arrival of dark matter. These observations could definitively identify the astrophysical origin of dark matter. If dark matter is successfully observed, then these detectors could be used to map out the dark matter distribution in the Galaxy. In other words, DMTPC is a telescope for dark matter astronomy.

In addition, since the evidence for dark energy relies on General Relativity, I am also involved in a high-precision test of gravity via Lunar Laser Ranging. Check out my Research page for a description of how I measure the Earth-Moon distance to a precision of a millimeter (that's nearly a part in a trillion of the 384,000 km distance).

While I was a graduate student in the Astronomy Department at Harvard University, I served as a Teaching Fellow in several courses (undergraduate and graduate, for both majors and non). I developed and co-taught a sophomore tutorial for astronomy majors and have lectured in the advanced undergraduate astrophysics course. Please see Teaching for details.

In addition, I have worked extensively with the Harvard Instructional Computing Group to develop software and applications to enrich classroom learning in both science and non-science courses.

Based on design by Andres Viklund. See http://andreasviklund.com