Particle Astrophysics Group
Brown Group - September 2013

Brown PA Group, November 2015


Current Members:

Richard Gaitskell


Rick Gaitskell is Co-spokesperson for the LUX experiment. He has been pursuing the direct detection of dark matter detection for over 20 years. He was a PI on the XENON10 experiment at LNGS, Italy, CDMS II at Soudan Mine, MN, and also worked on the CDMS I experiment at Stanford.

He is Vice-Chair of the DUSEL Research Association (DuRA) which represents over a 500 scientific users of the future deep underground science lab in the US. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Chung (Samuel) Chan

Graduate Student

Samuel received his Bachelor of Science in Astrophysics from University of Toronto in 2012. Since joining the group in summer 2012, Samuel's work includes the LUX R8778 photomultiplier tubes (PMT) management and R11410 PMT characterization for LZ. Besides the PMT work he is also involved in the D-D neutron generator project for LUX detector calibration. In his leisure time he enjoys cooking, traveling, and playing badminton.

Dongqing Huang

Graduate Student

Dongqing joined Brown PA group in July of 2012 after graduating from Pittsburg State University with B.S. in physics, B.S. in mathematics and minor in computer science. Dongqing was also involved in the VERITAS experiment during his undergraduate years. His work at Brown includes taking over responsibility for the LUX DAQ system, remotely managing the material screening program using the SOudan LOw-Background Counting Facility (SOLO), and LUX data analysis.

Casey Rhyne

Graduate Student

Casey earned his B.S. in Astronomy and Physics from Yale University in 2013 and focused his research efforts on simulations of the PIXeY research detector, its light response and its neutron recoil discrimination as a function of its drift field. After graduating, he spent a year researching potential radon screening techniques for LZ at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. Since joining the Brown PA group in the Fall of 2014, Casey has focused on working on simulations of neutron recoils, in an effort to improve the already excellent D-D neutron calibrations.

Will Taylor

Graduate Student

Will joined the Brown PA group in the summer of 2014 after graduating from Princeton University with a B.A. in physics. Will's undergraduate work focused on polonium contamination in low-background experiments such as Borexino and DarkSide. Since joining the group, he has been involved with managing the data processing and served Data Processing Coordinator for the LUX Collaboration in 2015. He also works on the group's neutron calibration efforts and became L3 for the LZ neutron calibration work in January 2017. He has also worked to test PMT prototypes for LZ.


Former Members:

Simon Fiorucci

Research Scientist

Simon Fiorucci obtained his Ph.D. on the cryogenic dark matter experiment EDELWEISS in 2005. He joined the BrownPA group at the end of 2005 to work as a post-doc on XENON10. This had him full-time in Italy at the Gran Sasso lab for the next two years. He is now working on LUX at Brown, specifically on the underground lab design and construction, and on background studies. He has served as Commissioning Director for the LUX underground installation, and as Science Coordinator since it started running.

James Verbus

PhD Recipient, May 2016

James received his Bachelor of Science in Physics from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in 2009. He was awarded the Coline M. Makepeace Fellowship for his first year of graduate study at Brown University. Among other things, he has been involved in the characterization of the photomultiplier tubes in the LUX experiment, design of the LED calibration system, and the development of control interfaces. He has also has a major role in defining and executing the LUX data processing strategy, and is leading the research effort using a D-D neutron generator as a calibration source for xenon detectors.

Monica Pangilinan

Postdoctoral Fellow

Monica Pangilinan obtained her Ph.D on the discovery of the electroweak production of the top quark in 2010 and soon thereafter started working on LUX as a postdoc with the BrownPA group. She was looking into backgrounds for the LZ detector, coordinating the simulations effort, and into entertaining things to do at Providence. She has now gone back to the West Coast to work in industry.

Jeremy Chapman

PhD Recipient, January 2014

Jeremy earned his B.S. in Physics and B.S. in Computer Engineering with a minor in Electrical Engineering from Syracuse University in 2007. Jeremy joined the particle astrophysics group the summer prior to his first year as a graduate student at Brown University in 2007. Jeremy worked on a novel data acquisition system for the LUX dark matter experiment. Jeremy was also largely responsible for the WIMP search data analysis of the first LUX underground result. In his free time Jeremy enjoys exercising, cooking, and building robots that will one day brew him beer. He now works at Lincoln Labs.

David Malling

PhD Recipient, December 2013

Dave earned a B.S. in Engineering Physics with a minor in mathematics from Syracuse University in 2007. His work in the Particle Astrophysics group has focused on Monte Carlo simulations of detector response, including light propagation, backgrounds, and calibrations. He also remotely managed the material screening program using the SOudan LOw-Background Counting Facility (SOLO) located at the Soudan Underground Lab. He now works at Lincoln Labs.

Carlos Faham

PhD Recipient, August 2013

Carlos is originally from Mexico and earned his B.S. in Physics from Arizona State University (ASU) in 2007 (after switching from a 3rd year engineering degree). As a graduate student, Carlos wass responsible for the testing, handling and overall management of the LUX R8778 photomultiplier tubes. In addition to his interest in photodetectors, he is interested in advanced data analysis methods. Carlos has been awarded a Brown Fellowship and a 3-year NSF Fellowship for research with Prof. Gaitskell. In his free time, Carlos likes to salsa dance, take photographs and play music.

He is now a Postdoc at Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, and continues his work on LUX and LZ.

Luiz de Viveiros

PhD Recipient, December 2009

Luiz worked on both the XENON10 and LUX dark matter projects. Thesis: "Optimization of Signal versus Background in Liquid Xe Detectors Used for Dark Matter Direct Detection Experiments" (download in resources page).

Luiz the moved on to be a postdoctoral researcher at the Laboratório de Instrumentação e Física Experimental de Partículas (LIP-Coimbra), at the University of Coimbra in Portugal, working on the ZEPLIN III, LUX and LZ experiments. he has recently taken a new postoc position at UC Santa Barbara, to work on KATRIN and Project 8.

Peter Sorensen

PhD Recipient, May 2008

Peter worked on the XENON10 dark matter project. Thesis: "A Position-Sensitive Liquid Xenon Time-Projection Chamber for Direct Detection of Dark Matter: The XENON10 Experiment" (download in resources page).

Peter is now a Staff Scientist at Lawrence-Livermore National Laboratory working on the LUX and LZ experiments, among other things.

Mike Attisha

PhD Recipient, May 2006

Mike worked on the CDMS dark matter project. Thesis: "Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS II) - Application of Neural Networks and Wavelets to Event Analysis" (download in resources page).