Steve completed his PhD at Yale University working on the MiniBooNE neutrino experiment. He also did research and development work for liquid argon TPCs (time projection chambers). Following his PhD, Steve completed a postdoc at Boston University. There he worked on the MiniCLEAN experiment, focusing on the electronics and eventually supervising construction of the detector at SNOLAB.
In his role now, Steve works as part of the PICO collaboration, with his focus right now being the PICO-40 detector. His time is spent working on the physical construction of the experiment, putting together electronics, and testing instrumentation for the detector. Right now, this involves troubleshooting components that aren’t working properly as they come online. PICO searches for dark matter using several types of signal, which means additional electronic components to calibrate.
“I work on experiments that are searching for dark matter. Based on the way that stars and galaxies move, it looks like there is more matter generating gravity in the universe than what we can see. We believe that this ‘dark matter’ is a type of particle that we have not yet discovered, because it only rarely interacts with other matter. Dark matter experiments are looking for those rare times when a dark matter particle does interact with a particle we can see.”
“I suppose I’ve always been curious about how the world works. Physics is just my way of continuing to be a four-year-old asking ‘Why?’ about everything.”
“I write music, mostly in various genres of classical, but also some jazz and progressive rock.”