- All News
- Search News
- Archived News
- Physicist Steven Cundiff Elected as Fellow of AAAS
- Observing the Dance of Ten Million Quantum Dots
- Physics Professor Tim McKay Explains ECoach Tool Now Used for All First-Year U-M Students
- Physicist Mark Newman's Scientific Cartogram Maps Featured in Washington Post
- U-M Physics Professor Tim McKay Developed Coaching Software to Help Students
- 11 Surprising Predictions for 2017 From Some of The Biggest Names In Science
- New Metamaterial Can Switch from Hard to Soft—And Back Again
- Physicist Lu Li and Team First to Uncover Rotational Symmetry Breaking in Magnetic Property of Unconventional Superconductor
- Physicist Michal Zochowski Collaborates with LSA Professor Sara Aton for ‘The Science of Sleep’
- Next-Gen Dark Matter Detector in a Race to Finish Line
- Physicist Roberto Merlin Selected as 2017 OSA Lippincott Award Recipient
- Michigan at the March for Science
- Norman M. Leff Assistant Professor Joshua Spitz Quoted in Scientific American Article
- All Events
- Special Lectures
- K-12 Programs
- Saturday Morning Physics
- Seminars & Colloquia
Jeff McMahon joins the Physics Department as an Assistant Professor in experimental cosmology. His focus includes constraining inflation and dark energy with cosmic microwave background studies. Measurements of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) provide opportunities to pursue research topics at the forefront of both fields. Unexplored signals in the CMB have the potential to provide information about inflation (a GUT-scale phenomenon), potential for detection of gravitational waves, measurement of neutrino mass, and constraints on the properties of dark energy.
With the South Pole Telescope (SPT) collaboration, Professor McMahon helped build a 10-m telescope at the geographic South Pole. Outfitted with a powerful three-frequency camera, this instrument is currently surveying the CMB sky with unprecedented resolution and sensitivity. The data collected will be used to constrain dark energy through clusters detected with the Sunyaev-Zel’dovich effect, and to extend measurements of the CMB power spectrum to smaller angular scales. The sky maps that are being generated will be a powerful tool for cosmology and astrophysics for years to come.
Professor McMahon is also working on the development of SPTpol, which is the second SPT key project. This will consist of a polarization-sensitive camera to be deployed on the South Pole Telescope in 2011. The SPTpol data will constrain neutrino mass and the energy scale of inflation. Through his work on SPTpol, he has become involved in the development of new detectors for CMB polarization. In the coming years, these detectors will be used in a number of new experiments, which will dramatically improve the constraints on the energy scale of inflation.