Johnson Research Group
at the
University of Virginia


Cosmology is the study of the dynamics and evolution of our Universe. I study cosmology because I have a fundamental desire to understand our origin. Humankind has wrestled with cosmological ideas for millennia. However, unlike our ancestors, we live in a time when cosmological observables and theory can be used together to answer some of the most fundamental questions about how our universe began and how it evolved. These observables are being discovered and precisely characterized thanks to new technologies that allow us to look deeply into the Universe in new ways and image the cosmological landscape clearly for the first time.  The core mission of the Johnson Research Group in the Astronomy Department is developing new technologies that will enable new discoveries.

Core Projects

The Simons Observatory
The Simons Observatory (SO) is a ground-based cosmic microwave background (CMB) experiment on Cerrro Toco, 5300 m (17,000 feet) above the Atacama Desert in Chile.
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AME & Axion Searches
We are using the VEGAS spectrometer at the Green Bank Telescope to characterize anomalous microwave emission (AME) and to search for dark matter particles called axions.
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KID Development
We are developing kinetic inductance detectors (KIDs), which are superconducting microresonators designed to detect photons. KIDs are ultra sensitive and scalable.
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Recent Publications

“Development of Multi-Chroic MKIDs for Next-Generation CMB Polarization Studies.” Johnson, B. R., et al. (2018) J. Low Temp. Phys., 193, 3-4, 103-112. (arXiv)

Research Support