Unravelling the Universe’s Secrets: A Pioneering Approach to Dark Matter with Dr Glen Harris


The universe holds countless mysteries, with dark matter being one of its most perplexing enigmas. Although it constitutes about 85% of the universe’s mass, its direct detection has eluded scientists. In the pursuit of answers, the Big Questions Institute Fellowship has taken a decisive step by granting the distinguished Dr Glen Harris, a celebrated DECRA Fellow from the University of Queensland, the resources and backing to delve deeper into this cosmic riddle.

Dr Glen Harris

BQI’s Bold Investment

Recognizing the need for a fresh perspective, the Big Questions Institute Fellowship has singled out Dr Harris’s ground-breaking methodology as a beacon of hope. Traditional liquid Xenon-based detection systems, despite massive investments, have yet to conclusively identify dark matter particles. This underscores the criticality of BQI’s decision to invest in Dr Harris’s pioneering approach.


Dr Harris’s Trailblazing Proposition

With BQI’s support, Dr Harris proposes the innovative use of superfluid helium as a target for dark matter interactions. The anticipated outcome? A phonon—a singular sound wave within the superfluid. Capturing these discrete phonons is no small feat, but Dr Harris’s profound expertise in superfluid cavity optomechanics offers a promising avenue to achieve this.


BQI & Dr Harris: A Synergized Vision

With the backing of the BQI Fellowship, Dr Harris is poised to expand his collaboration with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Dark Matter Particles. By interweaving his optomechanics mastery with Australia’s broader dark matter community, a holistic and enriched research direction emerges. Key to this is Dr Harris’s planned engagement with leading institutions such as the University of Melbourne, University of Western Australia, and Swinburne University. The goal? Establish an avant-garde experimental platform at the Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory.


BQI’s Commitment to Future Discoveries

BQI’s investment isn’t just financial. By endorsing Dr Harris’s vision, they validate the development of an essential optical cavity prototype. This synergy, combined with resources from the Advanced Superfluid Physics Facility at UQ, signals the dawning of a new age in dark matter research.

As we stand on the threshold of potentially ground-breaking discoveries, the Big Questions Institute Fellowship’s decision to empower Dr Glen Harris exemplifies their commitment to unravelling the universe’s profound mysteries. The whispers of phonons in superfluid helium might soon reveal tales of the cosmos, thanks to BQI’s foresight and Dr Harris’s expertise.