Research


I investigate aspects of particle physics, astrophysics, quantum field theory, and cosmology. Below I have categorized my research with links to selected papers. I have especially indicated research completed with postdoc and student collaborators at Queen’s University.

Inspire has an up-to-date record of all my publications.

1. Searching for Dark Matter Using Neutron Stars 

Old neutron stars by Earth could serve as excellent dark matter detectors. Neutron stars are the densest known objects that aren’t black holes, and as a consequence can accelerate dark matter to nearly the speed of light. This neutron star gravitational  acceleration gives dark matter lots of kinetic energy which can be converted to heat energy detectable with infrared telescopes. A dark matter heated neutron star near Earth could provide the first discovery of dark matter’s interactions.

Warming Nuclear Pasta with Dark Matter: Kinetic and Annihilation Heating of Neutron Star Crusts (with Queen’s PhD Javier Acevedo)

Dark Kinetic Heating of Neutron Stars and An Infrared Window On WIMPs, SIMPs, and Pure Higgsinos

Multiscatter stellar capture of dark matter

2. Particle Theory at Very Sensitive Detectors and Colliders

While there are many excellent searches for dark matter and new physics underway, I have helped develop a number of new methods to seek out new physics in both very sensitive and very high energy experiments.

Electric But Not Eclectic: Thermal Relic Dark Matter for the XENON1T Excess (with Queen’s Postdoc Ningqiang Song)

Superradiant Searches for Dark Photons in Two Stage Atomic Transitions (with Queen’s Postdoc Ningqiang Song and PhD Amit Bhoonah)

Foraging for dark matter in large volume liquid scintillator neutrino detectors with multiscatter events (with Queen’s PhD Ben Broerman)

Saturated Overburden Scattering and the Multiscatter Frontier: Discovering Dark Matter at the Planck Mass and Beyond (with Queen’s PhD Ben Broerman)

Inelastic frontier: Discovering dark matter at high recoil energy

Dark matter astrometry at underground detectors with multiscatter events

Cornering a hyper Higgs boson: Angular kinematics for boosted Higgs bosons with top pairs

Towards the Final Word on Neutralino Dark Matter

Relic Neutralino Surface at a 100 TeV Collider

3. Cosmological Connections to Particle Physics

There are connections between laboratory tests of particle physics here on Earth and the earliest moments of our universe. To advance our understanding of both, we have to increase our sensitivity to the behavior of physics at extremes: the highest energies, the rarest fluxes of particles, and the most improbable quantum processes.

Gravitational Waves From Dark Sectors, Oscillating Inflatons, and Mass Boosted Dark Matter (with Queen’s Postdoc Ningqiang Song, PhD Amit Bhoonah, and MSc Simran Nerval)

Material matter effects in gravitational UV/IR mixing (with Queen’s Postdoc Beth Gould)

Anomalous anomalies from virtual black holes (with Queen’s Postdoc Beth Gould)

Superheavy Thermal Dark Matter and Primordial Asymmetries

Low Scale Inflation at High Energy Colliders and Meson Factories

Cosmic Variance of the Spectral Index from Mode Coupling

4. Gas Clouds, Planets, Space Stations, and Dark Matter

Dark matter’s interactions could heat up interstellar gas clouds or the deep interior of planets like Earth and Mars. Gas clouds in particular, have provided a compelling new method to search for super-large and super-light dark matter, including ethereally elusive dark photon dark matter and ultra-massive composite dark matter.

Calorimetric Dark Matter Detection With Galactic Center Gas Clouds (with Queen’s Postdoc Sarah Schon and PhD Amit Bhoonah)

Terrestrial and Martian Heat Flow Limits on Dark Matter (with Queen’s MSc Alan Goodman, Undergrads Andrew Buchanan and Eesha Lodhi)

Galactic Center gas clouds and novel bounds on ultralight dark photon, vector portal, strongly interacting, composite, and super-heavy dark matter (with Queen’s Postdoc Sarah Schon and PhD Amit Bhoonah)

5. Dark Matter and Type Ia Supernovae

Asymmetric dark matter, or dark matter that has an antimatter partner (just like electrons and protons have), may be the ignition source for Type Ia Supernovae. Using the Type Ia explosions of old white dwarf stars, we can test certain dark matter properties.

Dark matter ignition of type Ia supernovae

Supernovae Sparked By Dark Matter in White Dwarfs (with Queen’s PhD Javier Acevedo)

6. Dark Matter and Disappearing Pulsars

Dark matter may be converting pulsars (a kind of neutron star) near the center of the Milky Way into black holes. There are ways to test this hypothesis using gravitational wave observatories,  neutron star age estimates, neutron star mergers in distant galaxies, and even the production of gold and other “r-process” elements in dwarf galaxies. This intriguing dark matter black hole formation process in neutron stars provides a way to test some dark matter models.

Detecting Dark Matter with Imploding Pulsars in the Galactic Center

Searching for dark matter with neutron star mergers and quiet kilonovae

On the -Process Enrichment of Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxies

Higgs portals to pulsar collapse

Constraints on bosonic dark matter from observation of old neutron stars