Edinburgh Research Explorer

Dr Paolo Beltrame

(Former employee or visitor)

Profile photo

Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

Research Interests

My main scientific interest lies in the direct detection of dark matter as I believe this is the most promising route to establishing New Physics; and a unique melting-pot where cosmology, astronomy and particle physics merge into one, providing the ideal conditions to question Nature at its foundation. 

I started my academic life achieving a M.Sc. in philosophy, specializing in Existentialism. I maintain close contact with the subject, publishing articles and giving seminars in the field of ontology and philosophy of science. 

From this somewhat esoteric foundation, a personal desire to test Nature at its most basic level has led me to a career in fundamental experimental particle physics and astrophysics.

I performed precision measurements in high-energy particle physics, such as the CKM matrix Vus determination and the hadronic contribution to the muon g-2 theoretical prediction.

Technological progress frequently enables extraordinary discoveries, so I gained experience in photo detector R&D, particularly on silicon photomultipliers, with a Marie Curie Fellowship at CERN.

I  became certain that the greatest outstanding problem in physics today is revealing the nature of the missing mass of the Universe. This dilemma dates from the 1930s, but remarkably, today we are at the stage where a discovery is possible, entering “the decade of the dark matter”. Therefore I joined the XENON100 experiment, working at UCLA (Los Angeles) and at the Weizmann Institute of Science (Tel-Aviv), and, since October 2013, I am member of the LUX/LZ program, with a David Gilmour Senior Fellowship at the University of Edinburgh. 

As a particle physicist (with previous training in philosophy) I am convinced that the investigation of dark matter, besides causing valuable consequences in applied technology and vast audience resonance, will lead us to unveil the next inalienable tile for the understanding of the Universe which is hosting our lives.

There can be few questions bigger than this.

Research outputs

  1. Extending light WIMP searches to single scintillation photons in LUX

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Projected WIMP sensitivity of the LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) dark matter experiment

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. The LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) Experiment

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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