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Nuclear & Plasma Sciences Society

Distinguished Lectures

Dr. J. Pace VanDevender

Vice President Emeritus Sandia National Laboratories APS Fellow AAAS Fellow IEEE Senior Member


RF Detection of Dark Matter Transiting Earth’s Magnetosphere (Zoom Session)

Magnetized Quark Nuggets (MQNs) are an emerging candidate for Dark Matter, which constitutes ~85% of the universe’s mass and which has been a mystery for decades. A space-based radiofrequency (RF) antenna system and associated digital signal processing (DSP) may be the key to solving this mystery. This talk briefly summarizes published and ongoing research on MQN Dark Matter, explains the current thinking about the RF-DSP system, lists previously suggested ideas, and invites the participants to critique and improve the concept. Good ideas will be acknowledged in future publications and outstanding ideas can lead to membership in the MQN Collaboration.  Ferromagnetic MQNs are theoretical objects composed of approximately equal numbers of up, down, and strange quarks and were originally proposed to explain the magnetic field of magnetar pulsars, whose magnetic field is ~ 300 times that of neutron-star pulsars. The MQN Collaboration has extended MQNs to dark matter. Previous work1 addressed the formation and aggregation of magnetized quark nuggets (MQNs) into a broad and magnetically stabilized mass distribution before they could decay and addressed their interaction2 with normal matter through their magnetopause, losing translational velocity while gaining rotational velocity and radiating3 electromagnetic energy. Observations in non-meteorite impact craters and other episodic events consistent with MQN impacts constrain the MQN magnetic field and permit design of a space-based sensor array to systematically test the MQN hypothesis for Dark Matter.




photo of Dr. J. Pace VanDevender

Dr. J. Pace VanDevender is President of VanDevender Enterprises LLC and Emeritus Vice President of Sandia National Laboratories.  Prior to his retirement in 2005 to have more time for research on dark matter and self-magnetically insulated power flow, Pace served as Vice President of Science & Technology and Partnerships and Chief Technology Officer at Sandia.  Most of his technical career has been in pulsed power sciences and plasma physics.

Pace is a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Fellow of the American Physical Society, and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  In 1991 he received the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Award for Physics.

He earned a Ph.D. in Physics from the Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of London, England in 1974, where he was a Marshall Scholar; an M.A. in Physics from Dartmouth College in 1971; and a B.A. in Physics from Vanderbilt University in 1969.

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