Spotlight on new faculty: Yonatan Kahn, High Energy Physics

11/5/2019 4:00:00 PM

Jessica Raley for Illinois Physics

The Department of Physics at Illinois welcomes an extraordinary set of ten new faculty members this year. Eight of them have arrived on campus and have begun setting up their labs and settling into life in Champaign-Urbana. Two more faculty are set to arrive in January. We will feature each of them here over the next couple of weeks. Check back regularly to learn more about the exciting work these new faculty members are doing.

Professor Yonatan Kahn (center) talks with professors Patrick Draper (left) and Aida El-Khadra. Photo by L. Brian Stauffer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Professor Yonatan Kahn (center) talks with professors Patrick Draper (left) and Aida El-Khadra. Photo by L. Brian Stauffer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Professor Yonatan Kahn

Yoni Kahn is a particle theorist searching for dark matter. His research asks questions such as “What is the mass of the dark matter particle,” “What other particles that we know of does it interact with,” and “How was it created in the early universe”? In the field of dark matter detection, Yoni is best known for the ABRACADABRA experiment, in which theorists and experimentalists worked together to broaden the scope of experiments searching for axion dark matter. This experiment is an example of a project that went from sketches on paper to a real apparatus taking data on a three-year time scale. The quick pace for the development of new experiments is one of the reasons Yoni enjoys doing research on dark matter. He says, “I am optimistic that within my research lifetime we will know whether the most plausible models that we have for dark matter are correct or not.” Yoni also enjoys the fact that his work is inherently interdisciplinary and cites the spirit of collaboration as a key reason for his decision to join the Illinois Physics faculty. 

To learn more about Yoni's research, or to inquire about joining his group, please visit his webpage.