Dan Bauer chosen as deputy head of Center for Particle Astrophysics
Five months ago, Dan Bauer’s life became a lot busier—and, he said, a good deal more exciting. In February, the Fermilab scientist and Cryogenic Dark Matter Search project manager stepped into a new role. He became the first deputy head of the Fermilab Center for Particle Astrophysics, an intellectual gathering place for the laboratory’s approximately 40 astrophysicists.
“The position was created because it became clear that the center was growing and taking on many new efforts,” Bauer said. “There are a huge number of ideas for new research.”
In his first months on the job, Bauer has helped to manage the center’s established projects, including the Dark Energy Survey, Pierre Auger Observatory, COUPP and CDMS, which he has led since 2002. But he has focused the bulk of his energy on cultivating future experiments.
“We want to make sure we water those seeds,” he said, explaining that center scientists are currently devising plans for about 14 proposed projects.
One proposal would use gravity wave technology to learn whether the visible universe might be a hologram that encodes two-dimensional information from the three dimensions we perceive. Another would investigate precise characteristics of the Cosmic Microwave Background, potentially revealing clues about the universe’s earliest seconds. And there are several ideas for direct observation of dark matter, including detectors filled with liquid argon and solid xenon.
Craig Hogan, head of the Center, said that Bauer is ideally qualified to support such projects.
“Dan’s very experienced at project management and development,” Hogan said. “He is also an experienced experimentalist. Since I am a theorist, we complement each other well.”
For his own part, Bauer is glad to contribute to the management of the center.
“It’s an exciting place to be,” Bauer said. “It’s fun to hear people come up with ideas, to sift through the possibilities and then figure out how to make a project happen.”
-- Rachel Carr