U.S. Department of Energy announces CAREER award for K-State physicist
Thursday, July 9, 2020
MANHATTAN — Lado Samushia, Kansas State University cosmologist and assistant professor of physics, has been awarded a grant through the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science's Early Career Research Program for $750,000 over five years for his work in cosmology.
Samushia's project, "Robust Dark Energy Constraints With Dark Energy Spectroscopic Survey," aims to make high-accuracy observations of the universe and measure the properties of dark energy to learn more about its underlying nature.
"Dark energy is one of the hottest topics in modern cosmology," Samushia said. "We know that 70% of the universe is made of a mysterious substance that we call dark energy — dark because it does not emit any light — but we don't really have a good idea of what it is."
Samushia's project specifically will measure positions and properties of tens of millions of distant galaxies. He hopes that a statistical analysis of the distribution of those galaxies and the patterns they make will help us to better understand dark energy.
The DOE early career grants are awarded yearly and are designed to bolster the nation's scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during crucial early career years when many do their most formative work. The grants are very competitive and only two of the 76 awardees this year had cosmology proposals.
"The grant will help me create a small group of doctoral students and a postdoctoral researcher and will fund travel to collaboration meetings and workshops for our group," Samushia said. "Dark Energy Spectroscopic Survey is an international collaboration with thousands of members across the globe, and we are happy that we have an opportunity to be part of this cutting-edge research."