Research projects

The Athena (Advanced Telescope for High ENergy Astrophysics) satellite, selected by ESA as part of its Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 programme and currently scheduled to launch in 2031, will be the next flagship X-ray astronomy satellite. Athena will study how hot baryons assemble into groups and clusters of galaxies and determine their chemical enrichment across cosmic time.

The BICEP Array is a planned array of four microwave telescopes to be installed at the geographic South Pole, replacing the now-decommissioned Keck Array. From there, the telescopes will observe the cosmic microwave background (CMB), the oldest detectable light in the Universe, at six different frequencies, search for evidence within the CMB of cosmic inflation.
The CO Mapping Array Pathfinder (COMAP) uses a spectrographic technique called line-intensity mapping to trace carbon monoxide atoms in the very early universe—within about three billion years of the Big Bang, a time of intense star formation responsible for the creation of about half of the stars in existence today.
KIPAC researchers tackle a wide range of computational challenges as part of a mission to bridge the theoretical and experimental physics communities, enabling them to bring their combined strength to bear on some of the most challenging and fascinating problems in particle astrophysics and cosmology.
The fourth-generation ground-based cosmic microwave background (CMB) experiment, or CMB-S4, consists of several dedicated telescopes equipped with highly sensitive superconducting cameras. These telescopes will spend seven years listening to the microwave sky at two locations already recognized for their suitability: the South Pole and the Atacama Plateau in Chile.
The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) is the heart of a ground-based survey that will spend the first half of the next decade pinpointing the locations and spectra of up to 35 million galaxies and 2.4 million quasars across one-third of the night sky. DESI observations will be used to create a 3D map of a huge volume of space that stretches more than 11 billion years into the past. For millions of objects, the map will reveal how fast the Universe was expanding at different times and help constrain possible models of dark energy.
The Dark Energy Survey (DES) is a survey of distant galaxies that aims to unravel the mystery of cosmic acceleration. The DES uses multiple techniques to measure and study dark energy, the putative driving force of cosmic acceleration. Specifically, the DES studies dark energy through its impact on the abundance of galaxy clusters, weak gravitational lensing signals, type Ia supernovae and detections of large-scale correlations between galaxies.  The combination of these various approaches will allow DES scientists to gain a more robust understanding of the current cosmological paradigm.
The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope (FGST or Fermi) is a space-based observatory used to perform gamma-ray astronomy observations from low-Earth orbit. Originally called the Gamma-Ray Large Area Space Telescope, or GLAST, the mission was renamed for the physicist Enrico Fermi after its launch in 2008. The mission is a joint venture of NASA, the United States Department of Energy and agencies and institutes in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Sweden.
The Imaging X-ray Polarization Explorer (IXPE), scheduled to launch in 2021, will be the first satellite dedicated to measuring the polarization of X-rays emitted by astrophysical objects in the 1-10keV band. Its launch will mark 40 years since polarization measurements of the Crab Nebula and pulsar at these energies—the only time such measurements have been taken.
In 1933, Fritz Zwicky realized that most of the matter in the Coma galaxy cluster was invisible. This finding launched a decades-long search for dark matter. Observation after observation has confirmed that this mysterious matter must exist and in fact makes up about a quarter of our universe. But we have yet to identify its specific nature.

The Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope (formerly the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope, or WFIRST) is a proposed infrared space telescope designed to study dark energy, our galaxy and to search for planets. The Roman Space Telescope was the leading recommended large space-based project in the recent decadal survey, combining elements from the previous Joint Dark Energy Mission with a proposal to search for planets via gravitational lensing and perform infrared surveys.

KIPAC members who are part of the Stanford Solar Observatories Group use data from several Earth-bound and space-based instruments to conduct observational and theoretical research on the physics of the Sun. The Solar Group (for short) focuses research efforts on dynamic solar processes that can have real-world consequences for the Earth, such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) that can damage satellites and disrupt communications.

The South Pole Telescope (SPT) is a 10-meter telescope operating at the National Science Foundation's South Pole research station. Designed for conducting large-area millimeter and sub-millimeter wave surveys to map primary and secondary anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background, SPT is the largest telescope ever deployed at the South Pole. Currently, the third generation "SPT-3G" camera is surveying the southern sky to make an ultra-sensitive map of CMB polarization across 1500 sq. degrees, and construct an unprecedented catalog of high redshift galaxy clusters…

The Super Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (SuperCDMS) experiment is a second-generation experiment designed to directly detect dark matter particles, and so begin an era of dark matter science that will enable us to understand the nature of the dark matter that makes up 85% of the matter in the universe. The SuperCDMS experiment is designed to detect dark matter particles having masses equal to the mass of about one to a few protons. SuperCDMS is currently (as of 2020) being installed two kilometers underground in the SNOLAB facility in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.
The Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) is a planned 10-year survey of the southern sky that will take place at the Vera C. Rubin Observatory, currently under construction on the El Penon peak of Cerro Pachon in northern Chile. The survey data will enable researchers around the world to better evaluate a wide range of pressing questions about the attributes of dark energy and dark matter, the formation of the Milky Way, the properties of small bodies in the solar system, the trajectories of potentially hazardous asteroids and the possible existence of undiscovered explosive phenomena.