chris tunnell photo


Research Areas

We work at the intersection between Cosmology and Particle Physics, specifically related to dark matter and neutrinos. The nature of dark matter is one of the biggest questions in modern physics. We build and analyze detectors that aim to discover particle dark matter. Furthermore, the same technology can be used to study the nature of the neutrinos through a process called neutrinoless double-beta decay. The Rice group has been a part of the XENON collaboration since its inception building xenon time-projection chambers in the Gran Sasso Laboratory in Italy. This includes developing this technology with XENON10, demonstrating the dark-matter technology in XENON100, the current leader XENON1T, and the future XENONnT. The interests in the group range from developing the high-voltage electrodes to operations to developing the software used for acquiring, processing, and analyzing the experimental data (leveraging leading Big Data technologies in our cyberinfrastructure).