Columbia's Xenon Dark Matter Project — designed for laboratory detection of dark matter.


The Astronomy Department and the Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory has a long history in the development of instrumentation for ground and space-based observatories and experimental astrophysics. Projects span the electromagnetic spectrum including high-energy, X-ray and UV satellites; sub-orbital and balloon missions for the study compact and energetic objects, galaxy formation and the cosmic web; optical and near-infrared instrumentation for ground-based telescopes for planet-finding and wide-field dark-matter/energy surveys; and sub-millimeter/radio probes of the cosmic microwave background. Instrumentation is also being developed for direct dark matter detection, gravitational wave measurements and for laboratory astrophysics measurements.

Recent and ongoing projects include two explorer missions Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX), Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuStar), balloon-borne experiments ( EBEx and FIREBall), the Project 1640 coronagraph, advanced LIGO, the Xenon and GAPS dark matter experiments and the Genesis molecular astrophysics project.