Professor Kimball, chair of the physics department at CSU East Bay and GWPAC collaborator, opened our Fall 2013 colloquium series with a presentation on how precision measurements of atomic spins can probe some of the universe's deepest mysteries.
Derek is an expert on using lasers to do precise measurements of atomic spins. He collaborates with Jocelyn Read and Josh Smith on the Global Network of Optical Magnetometers for Exotic Physics, the GNOME project.
He began his presentation with the deep unanswered questions posed by cosmology: what is the dark energy that causes the accelerating expansion of the universe? What is the dark matter whose gravity holds the galaxies together? And what causes the matter-antimatter asymmetry in the universe? He then gave prospects and results for shedding light on these questions by investigating their interactions with atomic spins - posing the question of whether a new pseudo-scalar interaction could help to explain one or all. He closed with a description of and prospects for the new GNOME project.
Derek's highly energetic presentation style combined with movies of an (intentionally) imploding CSU East Bay administration building and the revelation that "physicists are three percent rat," led to a much-enjoyed colloquium and a lively question and answer session afterward.
Thank you Derek for an entertaining and exciting presentation, and we wish you success with helping to solve the deep mysteries of the universe!