Erik Kramer

Cold Hardware Design and Verification for the SuperCDMS SNOLAB Experiment

One major area of experimental physics research is the search for dark matter, a hypothesized type of matter that does not emit nor absorb light. In an effort to directly detect the leading candidate for this new type of matter (weakly interacting massive particles or WIMPs), the Super Dark Matter Search (SuperCDMS) experiment utilizes germanium crystal detectors to observe the energy imparted to a nucleus in the crystal structure from a collision with a WIMP. After a successful run at the Soudan Underground Laboratory, the experiment is moving to SNOLAB and plans to upgrade the hardware used. In this stage of designing and prototyping new hardware, many tests need to be performed to ensure functionality and detect any design deficiencies. As part of a branch of the SuperCDMS experiment at UC Berkeley, I work with both thermal and structural design and testing to ensure success of our experimental engineering setup.

Message to Sponsor

Since beginning work with the SuperCDMS experiment in 2013, participating in experimental physics has become one of the greatest passions in my life. As someone who shares a deep interest in both applied engineering and theoretical physics, working in an experimental lab allows me to solve engineering problems daily, while still working towards gaining answers in the realm of theoretical physics. I feel honored to be given this chance by the Rose Hills Foundation to work full time in my lab this summer, and will strive to continue working full time in the field of experimental physics as a career.
  • Major: Physics, Mechanical Engineering
  • Sponsor: SURF Rose Hills fellow
  • Mentor: Bernard Sadoulet, Physics