Photograph of Karl van Bibber in 2019

Research Expertise and Interest

Particle Astrophysics, experimental nuclear physics, Accelerator Technology and Neutron Sources

Research Description

Primary current research efforts comprise experimental searches for the dark matter of the universe, i.e. HAYSTAC (Haloscope At Yale Sensitive to Axion CDM), DM Radio (at SLAC), ALPHA (plasmonic haloscope), data-mining the Breakthrough Listen public data release from the Green Bank Telescope, and supporting microwave technology R&D.  Low energy nuclear physics.  Accelerator science and technology.

In the News

New Simulations Refine Axion Mass, Refocusing Dark Matter Search

Physicists searching — unsuccessfully — for today’s most favored candidate for dark matter, the axion, have been looking in the wrong place, according to a new supercomputer simulation of how axions were produced shortly after the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago.

Researchers harness quantum weirdness to speed the search for dark matter

For more than a century, cosmologists have noted mysterious anomalies in the swirls of stars and galaxies in our universe: The motions of these celestial objects, which should be governed solely by the gravity of the other objects around them, instead seem to be dictated by the gravitational pull of matter that simply isn’t there — or, at least, cannot yet be observed.

Students make neutrons dance beneath Berkeley campus

In an underground vault enclosed by six-foot concrete walls and accessed by a rolling, 25-ton concrete-and-steel door, University of California, Berkeley, students are making neutrons dance to a new tune: one better suited to producing isotopes required for geological dating, police forensics, hospital diagnosis and treatment.

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions of UC Berkeley.
September 13, 2019

Nuclear engineering students at Berkeley have built a tabletop neutron source that's relatively cheap, portable, and able to produce a narrow but useful range of neutron energies without undesirable radioactive byproducts. "Any hospital in the country could have this thing, they could build it for a few hundred thousand dollars to make local, very short-lived medical isotopes -- you could just run them up the elevator to the patient," says nuclear engineering professor Karl van Bibber, the faculty member overseeing the project. "It has application in geochronology, neutron activation analysis for law enforcement agencies -- when the FBI wants to determine the provenance of a sample as evidence, for example -- neutron radiography, to look for cracks in aircraft parts. This is very compact, the size of a little convection oven; I think it's great, we are excited about this." This story originated at Berkeley News.

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