Enectali Figueroa-Feliciano is interested in finding physics beyond the standard model. We know the standard model of particle physics is not the most fundamental description of nature: it fails to explain various phenomena such as the mass of neutrinos, dark matter, the expansion of the Universe, and gravity. We focus on dark matter and neutrinos as they are one of the most promising avenues for finding new physics in the next decade.
Our experimental technique uses cryogenic detectors operating near absolute zero. Particles interact with the detector, producing a small recoil that leaves tens of keV of energy in the detector. We sense these small energy depositions using Transition-Edge Sensors and SQUID electronics. We design, prototype, and build detectors in our lab, although the actual physics measurements are done in the field. We search for dark matter 2 km underground in deep mines as part of the SuperCDMS experiment and 300 km in space with the Micro-X sounding rocket. We are also developing these detectors to search for as-yet-undetected neutrino interactions using nuclear reactors and electron capture neutrino sources.
We are part of the SuperCDMS collaboration and work closely with the Fermilab SuperCDMS group. For the upcoming SuperCDMS SNOLAB experiment, we will play a leading role in the integration and testing of the experiment at Fermilab before taking it down to SNOLAB. Figueroa-Feliciano is the Principal Investigator of the Micro-X Rocket, and we collaborate with NASA, NIST, and several universities in this rocket program.
Awards and Honors
- Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow
- NSF Faculty Early Career Development Award