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Rafael F. Lang

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Rafael Lang
PHYS 313
Lab Phys 340
(765) 494-3048
(765) 494-5173
  • Full Professor at Purdue University since 2021
  • Associate Professor at Purdue University since 2017
  • Assistant Professor at Purdue University, 2011-2017
  • Postdoctoral research at Columbia University, New York, working on the XENON100 experiment, 2009-2011
  • Dissertation: Search for Dark Matter with the CRESST Experiment, Max-Planck-Institut für Physik and Technische Universität München, 2008
  • Diplom: Search for Point-Sources of High-Energy Neutrinos with the AMANDA Detector, DESY Zeuthen and Universität Ulm, 2005

Research Interests

What is the Universe made of? All we know today is that we don't know what most of the matter in the Universe really is. We have a name for it and call it Dark Matter, but we don't know its true Nature. Is Dark Matter made of a new particle species? And if so, what are its properties? How is it distributed? Can Dark Matter interact with us?

I build and run detectors that try to shed light on these issues. I am a member of the XENON collaboration that use a liquid xenon target to search for rare Dark Matter interactions. I am in particular interested in unconventional signatures of Dark Matter.

Further, I am using these detectors to detect neutrinos from processes in our Sun or from supernova explosions across the Milky Way. I also am involved in the SNEWS network to provide an early alert in case of the next Galactic supernova. In addition to these collaborative efforts, I operate dedicated R&D setups at my lab at Purdue to advance this liquid noble element detector technology.

Together with the Windchime, I pursue an entirely novel experimental effort to directly detect Dark Matter in the lab. The Windchime project uses an array of dedicated accelerometers with quantum-enhanced readout to directly detect Dark Matter around the Planck mass through gravitational interactions alone. While Windchime is certainly a long-term research program, it offers a range of interesting science goals, including ultra-light Dark Matter signals, in the short term.

Selected Publications

Please have a look at this INSPIRE search, which does a pretty good job at keeping track of my publications.

Last Updated: May 28, 2021 9:00 AM

Department of Physics and Astronomy, 525 Northwestern Avenue, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2036 • Phone: (765) 494-3000 • Fax: (765) 494-0706

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