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Opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Microwave Polarimetry: Precision Measurements for Cosmological Physics


Physical Measurement Laboratory, Applied Physics Division

RO# Location
50.68.62.B6732 Boulder, CO

Please note: This Agency only participates in the February and August reviews.


Name E-mail Phone
Hilton, Gene C. 303.497.5679
Hubmayr, Johannes 303.497.6164
Ullom, Joel N. 303.497.4408


During the last decade, precise measurements of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) have become a powerful probe of physics beyond the standard model, including dark energy, dark matter, neutrino mass, and inflation. The next generation of experiments may resolve the cosmological gravity-wave background and provide direct measurement of the inflaton potential. Such experiments require even more precise measurement of the polarization of the microwave background with exquisite control of systematic errors.

NIST is developing polarization-sensitive focal plane arrays for use in CMB measurements. The sensor elements are superconducting transition-edge sensors that are read out by multiplexed SQUIDs. The research will involve the development of beam-forming elements (including lithographic antennas or silicon micromachined corrugated feedhorns), superconducting elements for coherent processing of the microwave signals before detection (including filters, Stokes analyzers), and on-chip polarization modulators. Opportunities include the development, fabrication, and testing of polarimeter components; calibration and polarization standard development; system integration; and work with collaborators in the astronomical community to field and utilize polarimeter receivers in ground-based, balloon-borne, and ultimately a satellite experiment.


Cosmic Microwave Background; Focal plane arrays; Lithographic; Metrology; Physics; SQUIDs; Superconducting;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants
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