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


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

Former Rotation Grad Student at U. Chicago

Taryn Imamura

Former Undergrad, Grad Student at Carnegie Mellon in Fall '20

Nianyi Chen

Former Undergrad, Grad Student at Carnegie Mellon in Fall '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