Jocelyn Monroe's research is on searching for dark matter, mysterious particles that make up ~20% of the universe, approximately five times more than all the particles we know about! The existence of dark matter is inferred from its gravitational interactions, but it has never been directly detected in a terrestrial laboratory. Direct detection experiments seek to observe dark matter particles scattering off of atomic nuclei, inside very low background detectors that measure tiny particle energies—as little as one-millionth the energy released in a single uranium nuclear fission.
Jocelyn Monroe collaborates on the DEAP-3600 experiment, which searches for dark matter interactions in a liquid argon detector located more than a mile underground in SNOLAB (in Sudbury, Ontario). The goal is ultimately to develop a kilotonne-scale observatory for dark matter and neutrino physics. Jocelyn Monroe also works on developing a new kind of detector to search for the dark matter wind with the DMTPC project. The motion of the earth through the galaxy should create an apparent wind of dark matter particles, blowing opposite to the direction of the earth's motion. Detecting the dark matter wind would be the first step towards a dark matter telescope.