Dark matter & SETG & Space Genetics
This first project connects particle physics, astrophysics and nucleic acid nano-dectors. Dark matter (DM) may constitute 85% of matter. Recently, the estimated mass of DM components, Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMP) has dramatically dropped to 3.5 to 7 GeV/c2 (DAMA, CoGeNT, CRESST, CDMS-Si, CDMS-Ge and Xenon detectors). New signatures are possible when the detectors can recognize the track of recoiling (Beryllium) nuclei with a precision of a few nanometers. We aim for very high angular resolution to detect annual and diurnal modulation of the direction of WIMP wind.
The other project aims at the physics of migration of solid objects in our solar system and beyond as well as radiation. Search for Extraterrestrial Genomes = SETG. Sequencing devices weighing less than 1 kg and consuming less than 6 Watts would help make this feasible.
Relevant Church lab Publications
2012 New Dark Matter Detectors using DNA for Nanometer Tracking ArXiv.
2008 The most conserved genome segments for life detection on Earth and other planets. Orig Life Evol Biosph. Meetings, News & Resources:
Space genetics at HMS 27-Mar-2014