Research Projects

South Pole Telescope (SPT)

The SPT is a 10-meter telescope designed to measure the cosmic microwave background (CMB) and find clusters of galaxies. In 2011, we completed the 2500 sq. deg. SPT-SZ survey, designed to study the temperature anisotropy of the CMB. In 2012, we installed the polarization sensitive SPTpol camera, to study the CMB polarization anisotropy. Analysis of both data sets is on-going, in addition with cross-correlation with the BICEP2/KECK and DES surveys. See publications and link below for more details.


SPT-3G is a new camera for the SPT, installed in January 2017. The SPT-3G camera consists of 16,000 transition edge sensor (TES) detectors operating at 275 mK, and observing in three frequency bands centered at 95, 150, and 220 GHz. SPT-3G has a 10 times larger mapping speed than the already impressive SPTpol camera. Over 5-years with SPT-3G, we plan to survey 1500 sq. deg. of sky, an area that overlaps with the optical Dark Energy Survey (DES) and the low-resolution BICEP CMB survey. The main science goals of the survey are to place new constraints on Inflationary models, the relativistic energy density of the universe, the sum of the neutrino masses, and dark energy.

Dark Energy Survey (DES)

DES is 5000 sq. deg. optical survey, aiming to study dark energy. The DES survey was designed to largely overlap the SPT survey area. This overlap enables cross correlation analyses to study astrophysics and cosmology, using SPT observables, e.g., CMB lensing and the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) signature from clusters of galaxies. See publications and link below of more details.


CMB-S4 is a next-generation CMB experiment aiming to be over an order of magnitude more sensitive than today's operating stage-2 experiments (e.g., ACTpol, SPTpol, KECK), and requiring on the order of 500,000 TES detectors between 30-300 GHz. CMB-S4 was recently recommended by the DOE P5 and NRC Antarctic reports as a US scientific priority, and the community has been organizing bi-annual meetings to help define the science case and being designs for CMB-S4. See link below for more details.

Recent Publications

1) Constraints on Cosmological Parameters from the Angular Power Spectrum of a Combined 2500 deg$^2$ SPT-SZ and Planck Gravitational Lensing Map. By SPT Collaboration (G. Simard et al.). [arXiv:1712.07541 [astro-ph.CO]]. Submitted to: Astrophys.J..
2) Galaxy Kinematics and Mass Calibration in Massive SZE Selected Galaxy Clusters to z=1.3. By R. Capasso et al.. [arXiv:1711.09903 [astro-ph.CO]]. Submitted to: Mon.Not.Roy.Astron.Soc..
3) Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Effect and X-ray Scaling Relations from Weak-Lensing Mass Calibration of 32 SPT Selected Galaxy Clusters. By J.P. Dietrich et al.. [arXiv:1711.05344 [astro-ph.CO]]. Submitted to: Mon.Not.Roy.Astron.Soc..
4) Baryon Content in a Sample of 91 Galaxy Clusters Selected by the South Pole Telescope at 0.2 < z < 1.25. By DES and SPT Collaborations (I. Chiu et al.). [arXiv:1711.00917 [astro-ph.CO]]. Submitted to: Mon.Not.Roy.Astron.Soc..
5) Dark Energy Survey Year 1 Results: A Precise H0 Measurement from DES Y1, BAO, and D/H Data. By DES Collaboration (T.M.C. Abbott et al.), [arXiv:1711.00403 [astro-ph.CO]].
6) Dark Energy Survey Year 1 Results: Cosmological Constraints from Galaxy Clustering and Weak Lensing. By DES Collaboration (T.M.C. Abbott et al.). [arXiv:1708.01530 [astro-ph.CO]].
7) A Measurement of CMB Cluster Lensing with SPT and DES Year 1 Data. By DES and SPT Collaborations (E.J. Baxter et al.).[arXiv:1708.01360 [astro-ph.CO]].
8) Measurements of the Temperature and E-Mode Polarization of the CMB from 500 Square Degrees of SPTpol Data. By SPT Collaboration (J.W. Henning et al.). [arXiv:1707.09353 [astro-ph.CO]]. 10.3847/1538-4357/aa9ff4.
Astrophys.J. 852 (2018) no.2, 97.
9) A Comparison of Cosmological Parameters Determined from CMB Temperature Power Spectra from the South Pole Telescope and the Planck Satellite. By SPT Collaboration (K. Aylor et al.) [arXiv:1706.10286 [astro-ph.CO]]. 10.3847/1538-4357/aa947b. Astrophys.J. 850 (2017) no.1, 101.
10) CMB-S4 Technology Book, First Edition. By CMB-S4 Collaboration (Maximilian H. Abitbol et al.). [arXiv:1706.02464 [astro-ph.IM]].
12) A 2500 deg$^2$ CMB Lensing Map from Combined South Pole Telescope and Planck Data. By Y. Omori et al.. [arXiv:1705.00743 [astro-ph.CO]]. 10.3847/1538-4357/aa8d1d. Astrophys.J. 849 (2017) no.2, 124.
13) A Comparison of Maps and Power Spectra Determined from South Pole Telescope and Planck Data. By Z. Hou et al.. [arXiv:1704.00884 [astro-ph.CO]]. 10.3847/1538-4357/aaa3ef. Astrophys.J. 853 (2018) no.1, 3.
14) The Remarkable Similarity of Massive Galaxy Clusters from z ? 0 to z ? 1.9. By SPT Collaboration (M. McDonald et al.). [arXiv:1702.05094 [astro-ph.CO]]. 10.3847/1538-4357/aa7740. Astrophys.J. 843 (2017) no.1, 28.
15) CMB Polarization B-mode Delensing with SPTpol and Herschel. By SPT and Herschel Collaborations (A. Manzotti et al.).[arXiv:1701.04396 [astro-ph.CO]]. 10.3847/1538-4357/aa82bb. Astrophys.J. 846 (2017) no.1, 45.
16) Optimization of Transition Edge Sensor Arrays for Cosmic Microwave Background Observations With the South Pole Telescope. By Junjia Ding et al.. 10.1109/TASC.2016.2639378. IEEE Trans.Appl.Supercond. 27 (2016) no.4, 2100204.
17) Velocity Segregation and Systematic Biases In Velocity Dispersion Estimates With the SPT-GMOS Spectroscopic Survey. By Matthew.B. Bayliss et al.. [arXiv:1612.02827 [astro-ph.CO]]. 10.3847/1538-4357/aa607c. Astrophys.J. 837 (2017) no.1, 88.
18) Cluster Mass Calibration at High Redshift: HST Weak Lensing Analysis of 13 Distant Galaxy Clusters from the South Pole Telescope Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Survey. By SPT Collaboration (T. Schrabback et al.). [arXiv:1611.03866 [astro-ph.CO]]. 10.1093/mnras/stx2666. Mon.Not.Roy.Astron.Soc..
19) ALMA observations of massive molecular gas filaments encasing radio bubbles in the Phoenix cluster. By H.R. Russell et al.. [arXiv:1611.00017 [astro-ph.GA]]. 10.3847/1538-4357/836/1/130. Astrophys.J. 836 (2017) 130.
20) Weak-lensing mass calibration of redMaPPer galaxy clusters in Dark Energy Survey Science Verification data. By DES Collaboration (P. Melchior et al.). [arXiv:1610.06890 [astro-ph.CO]]. 10.1093/mnras/stx1053. Mon.Not.Roy.Astron.Soc. 469 (2017) no.4, 4899-4920.
21) CMB-S4 Science Book, First Edition. By CMB-S4 Collaboration (Kevork N. Abazajian et al.).[arXiv:1610.02743 [astro-ph.CO]].
22) SPT-GMOS: A Gemini/GMOS-South Spectroscopic Survey of Galaxy Clusters in the SPT-SZ Survey. By SPT Collaboration (M.B. Bayliss et al.). [arXiv:1609.05211 [astro-ph.CO]]. 10.3847/0067-0049/227/1/3. Astrophys.J.Suppl. 227 (2016) no.1, 3.
23) Testing for X-ray-SZ Differences and Redshift Evolution in the X-ray Morphology of Galaxy Clusters. By D. Nurgaliev et al.. [arXiv:1609.00375 [astro-ph.CO]]. 10.3847/1538-4357/aa6db4. Astrophys.J. 841 (2017) no.1, 5. 24) Integrated performance of a frequency domain multiplexing readout in the SPT-3G receiver. By A.N. Bender et al.. 10.1117/12.2232146. Proc.SPIE Int.Soc.Opt.Eng. 9914 (2016) 99141D.
25) OpticalŠSZE scaling relations for DES optically selected clusters within the SPT-SZ Survey. By A. Saro et al.. [arXiv:1605.08770 [astro-ph.CO]]. 10.1093/mnras/stx594. Mon.Not.Roy.Astron.Soc. 468 (2017) no.3, 3347-3360.


Bradford Benson

Associate Scientist, Fermilab; Assistant Professor, Astronomy & Astrophysics, KICP, University of Chicago; Ph.D., Stanford, 2004.


Postdocs and Technical Staff

Adam Anderson

Lederman Fellow, Fermilab, PhD MIT 2015

Sasha Rahlin

Fellow, Fermilab, PhD Princeton 2016

Donna Kubik

Physicist, Fermilab

Graduate Students

Joshua Sobrin

Grad Student, Physics

Zhaodi Pan

Co-advisor, Grad Student, Physics

Daniel Dutcher

Co-advisor, Grad Student, Physics

Andrea Bryant

Co-advisor, Grad Student, Physics


Nianyi Chen

Physics AB, UChicago '18.


Lauren Saunders

Former Undergrad, Grad Student at Yale in Physics in Fall '17

Ningfeng Zhu

Former Undergrad, Grad Student at University of Pennsylvania in Physics in Fall '17

Alex Diaz

Former Undergrad, Grad Student at MIT in Physics in Fall '16

Milo Korman

Former Undergad, now Grad Student at Case Western in Physics in Fall '15