Tracy Slatyer, Jerrold R. Zacharias Career Development Professor of Physics

Jerrold R. Zacharias Career Development Professor of Physics

EMAIL: tslatyer@mit.edu

PHONE: (617) 253-7528

OFFICE: 6-320

ASSISTANT: Charles Suggs (617) 253-8363


Area of Physics:

Theoretical Particle Physics - Astrophysics - Cosmology - Standard Model

Research Interests

Prof. Slatyer is a theoretical physicist who works on particle physics, cosmology and astrophysics. Her research is motivated by questions of fundamental particle physics — in particular, the nature and interactions of dark matter — but she seeks answers to these questions by studying possible signatures of new physics in astrophysical and cosmological data. She was awarded the 2017 Henry Primakoff Award for Early-Career Particle Physics by the Division of Particles and Fields of the American Physical Society.

Prof. Slatyer has led theoretical research on scenarios where the dark matter couples to much lighter particles, and hence may experience long-range forces; her work has helped inspire a broad experimental program to search for such particles. Such models have an array of startling phenomenological implications, from large self-scattering rates in the cores of dark matter haloes to greatly enhanced annihilation cross sections and the formation of bound states. Slatyer has adapted techniques originally developed in the context of collider physics to perform precise predictions of annihilation signals from such models, in circumstances where conventional methods break down. By carefully modeling the secondary effects of dark matter annihilation or decay in the early universe, she has also set stringent new model-independent constraints on dark matter.

Prof. Slatyer’s research includes hands-on data analysis as well as theory. She has pioneered new techniques to disentangle faint possible dark matter signals from astrophysical backgrounds. Using data from the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope, she discovered the giant gamma-ray structures known as the “Fermi Bubbles”, for which she and her collaborators were awarded the 2014 Bruno Rossi Prize of the American Astronomical Society. She has also found evidence for a new and unexpected population of gamma-ray point sources residing in the central region of our Milky Way galaxy.

Biographical Sketch

Tracy Slatyer joined the MIT Physics Department in July 2013 after completing a three‐year postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. Dr. Slatyer completed her undergraduate work with honors in theoretical physics at the Australian National University in 2005 and her doctoral work in physics at Harvard in 2010 under the direction of Douglas Finkbeiner. She was promoted to Associate Professor in 2018.

Selected Publications

Professor Slatyer's publications can be found on arXiv.

Last updated on July 15, 2020 4:43 PM