Kyle Leach, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Physics, Colorado School of Mines


2022 Experimental Physics Investigator

Kyle Leach, Ph.D.
Image credit: Jon Lighthall

Research Description

Kyle Leach and their research team directly implant the rarest radioactive atoms in the Universe into highly sensitive superconducting detectors that are cooled to temperatures colder than intergalactic space. When these atoms decay inside of the experimental sensor, they search for a small fraction of them that produce new, exotic particles by measuring slight changes in the energy of the new element that is created. The size of these changes indicate the properties of the newly created particles.

Dr. Leach’s state-of-the-art experimental equipment is fast, and can measure these properties for nearly any radioactive sample, even those with half-lives below a fraction of a second where only a few atoms of interest may exist. This research is heavily interdisciplinary and requires new work in subatomic physics, condensed matter physics, quantum engineering, and materials imaging.

Research Impact

Dr. Leach’s research employs a new approach in the search for exotic physics and probes potentially new fundamental particles that are expected to exist in nature but have never been observed. Evidence of any one of these new particles has the potential to explain some of the biggest open questions in understanding of the natural universe, such as what is dark matter and why is our Universe filled with matter rather than antimatter?


related links

Experimental Physics Investigators Initiative Science Colorado School of Mines, Department of Physics Back


Postdoctoral Fellowship, Radioactive Ion Trapping, TRIUMF (Canada)
PhD, Nuclear Physics, University of Guelph (Canada)
MSc, Nuclear Physics, University of Guelph (Canada)
BSc (Honours), Physics, University of Guelph (Canada)

Affiliated Investigators