Associate Professor, Department of Physics, McGill University
Associate Member, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, McGill University
Canada Research Chair in Astro-particle Physics
Fellow in the CIfAR Cosmology and Gravity Program
Ernest Rutherford Physics Building
3600 Rue University
Montréal, Québec, Canada H3A 2T8
Tel: (514) 398-6500
Fax: (514) 398-8434 (please use email instead of fax)
- Blog for the deployment of the South Pole Telescope Jan/Feb 2007
Matt holds a B.Sc from McGill University (Canada) and earned his doctorate in experimental Particle Physics (April 2002) from the University of Victoria (Canada) as a member of the ATLAS experiment collaboration at CERN, in Switzerland. Matt held an Owen Chamberlain Fellowship at Lawrence Berkeley aboratory in the United States where he built experiments which use the Cosmic Microwave Background as a tool to probe the early universe. In January 2006, Matt moved his research to McGill University, where he was awarded a Canada Research Chair and began a position as Asst. Professor. In 2007 he became a scholar in the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIfAR) Cosmology and Gravity group. Matt continues to build and perform measurements with cutting edge instrumentation to better understand the universe in which we live.
My research aims to improve our understanding of the fundamental constituents of the universe – including its origin, history, and fate – as well as providing new insight into the early universe, where the laws of particle physics and cosmology intersect. At McGill our group is building novel instrumentation and experiments to explore the early universe with mm-wavelength observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation.
My physics background is in High Energy Particle Physics. I am a member of the ATLAS collaboration at CERN, in Geneva, Switzerland. I served as co-convener for the ATLAS Standard Model Working Group for 2 terms. I played a role in building and testing the Hadronic Endcap Calorimeter and am primarily interested in vector boson physics and Monte Carlo techniques for QCD corrections.
- The CMB polarization is one of the few tools we know of to probe physics at inflationary energy scales, where grand unified theories may manifest themselves. At McGill, we heavily involved with the NASA balloon-borne experiment EBEX, the South Pole Telescope Polarimeter, and POLARBEAR. These experiments may unveil the signature of inflationary gravity waves using the CMB polarization.
- Another fundamental unknown is the nature of Dark Energy, which presently accounts for about 70% of the energy density in the universe. I am involved with two experiments, APEX-SZ and the South Pole Telescope, which will use a subtle distortion of the CMB from Galaxy Clusters called the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect to measure the expansion history of the universe and gain new information about Dark Energy.
- The Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) is an exciting new project for mapping the 21cm signature from z=1-2.5.
- The CMB experiments described above employ a new type of readout system (called frequency domain multiplexing), which is my main instrumentation focus.
- HepMC is an OO Event Record software Package for HEP which I wrote as a graduate student.
Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) measurements are complementary to particle physics. Particle physics addresses the smallest structures in the universe, while cosmology addresses the very largest. Particle accelerators `work up' towards ever-higher energy scales, attempting to learn something about unification--perhaps a supersymmetry which conspires to bring the unification scale down towards the electroweak scale. If the inflationary scale is high (1015-1016 GeV), its fingerprint should be observable in the CMB polarization. The amplitude of this type of polarization signal is proportional to the inflationary scale (making it easier to see if the scales are larger), and so these measurements in effect `look down' from high energy scales. In the very early universe, the laws of particle physics and cosmology intersect, and this is the science which interests me most.