Students and postdocs working with Kaplinghat are investigating a wide variety of phenomena in cosmology and particle physics. The key questions driving the research are the identity of dark matter and observational probes of the energy content of the Universe. The group uses a wide variety of tools and data analysis techniques in their investigations. Past research topics include early Universe physics (questions such as "how is dark matter produced?"), theoretical investigations of the pillars of modern cosmology (cosmic microwave background and big bang nucleosynthesis), late-time astrophysics (questions such as "what properties of dark matter particles impact galaxies and how?"), cosmology (questions such as "how well do we know the expansion history of the universe and its implications?") and astro-particle physics (mostly related to indirect searches for dark matter particles).
Undergraduate students are welcome to join any of the ongoing research efforts. One example is gravitational lensing, which is a way to probe the distribution of dark matter in galaxies and clusters of galaxies. Another is using kinematics of stars in galaxies to understand the distribution of dark matter in the inner regions of dwarf (less massive) galaxies, the properties of which are important for both particle physics and astrophysics.
During the academic year, students working with Kaplinghat should expect to spend 5-10 hours per week.
Manoj Kaplinghat, 2180 Frederick Reines Hall (building 401 on campus map)