Samuel L. Watkins

University of California, Berkeley, Department of Physics


2016 - Present, University of California, Berkeley

  • Ph.D. Candidate - Department of Physics

2016 - 2018, University of California, Berkeley

  • M.A. - Department of Physics

2011 - 2015, University of California, Los Angeles

  • B.S. - Department of Physics, Magna Cum Laude
  • Minor in Applied Mathematics

Research and Work Experience

2017 - Present, University of California, Berkeley, Department of Physics

  • Graduate Student Researcher under Assistant Professor Matt C. Pyle
  • Member of SuperCDMS and SPICE/HeRALD Collaborations
  • Executing light dark matter search analyses
  • Performing low-temperature detector R&D in a state-of-the-art dilution refrigerator
  • Creator and maintainer of QETpy and RQpy Python packages

2015 - 2016, PNI Sensor Corporation, Santa Rosa, California

  • Physicist and algorithm engineer, working primarily in MATLAB
  • Applied Kalman filtering and other sensor fusion techniques to combine cell phone data for navigation purposes
  • Interfaced with the Android API for extraction of raw sensor data for further analysis


Invited: CPD DM Search and Excess Signals

  • June 15, 2021, EXCESS Workshop
  • Samuel L. Watkins, on behalf of the SuperCDMS Collaboration

Invited Seminar: A Large-Area Cryogenic PhotoDetector, Applications, and a Light Dark Matter Search

R&D for Light Mass Dark Matter Searches with SuperCDMS


Corresponding Author

  • I. Alkhatib, S. L. Watkins, et al. (SuperCDMS Collaboration), “Light Dark Matter Search with a High-Resolution Athermal Phonon Detector Operated above Ground”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 127, 061801 (2021)
  • C. W. Fink, S. L. Watkins, et al. (CPD Collaboration), “Performance of a large area photon detector for rare event search applications”, Appl. Phys. Lett. 118, 022601 (2021)

Significant Contributions

  • R. Ren, C. Bathurst, Y.-Y. Chang, R. Chen, C. W. Fink, Z. Hong, N. A. Kurinsky, N. Mast, N. Mishra, V. Novati, G. Spahn, H. Meyer zu Theenhausen, S. L. Watkins, et al., “Design and characterization of a phonon-mediated cryogenic particle detector with an eV-scale threshold and 100 keV-scale dynamic range”, Phys. Rev. D 104, 032010 (2021)
  • C. W. Fink, S. L. Watkins, et al., “Characterizing TES power noise for future single optical-phonon and infrared-photon detectors”, AIP Adv. 10, 085221 (2020)
  • F. Ponce, W. Page, P. L. Brink, B. Cabrera, M. Cherry, C. Fink, N. Kurinsky, R. Partridge, M. Pyle, B. Sadoulet, B. Serfass, C. Stanford, S. L. Watkins, et al., “Modeling of Impact Ionization and Charge Trapping in SuperCDMS HVeV Detectors”, J. Low Temp. Phys. 199, 598–605 (2020)
  • F. Ponce, C. Stanford, S. Yellin, W. Page, C. Fink, M. Pyle, B. Sadoulet, B. Serfass, S. L. Watkins, et al., “Measuring the impact ionization and charge trapping probabilities in SuperCDMS HVeV phonon sensing detectors”, Phys. Rev. D 101, 031101(R) (2020)

Other Publications

  • A. Biekert, et al. (SPICE/HeRALD Collaboration) , “Scintillation yield from electronic and nuclear recoils in superfluid He-4” (2021), arXiv:2108.02176 [physics.ins-det]
  • I. Alkhatib, et al. (SuperCDMS Collaboration), “Constraints on Lightly Ionizing Particles from CDMSlite”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 127, 081802 (2021)
  • D. W. Amaral, et al. (SuperCDMS Collaboration), “Constraints on low-mass, relic dark matter candidates from a surface-operated SuperCDMS single-charge sensitive detector”, Phys. Rev. D 102, 091101(R)
  • T. Aralis, et al. (SuperCDMS Collaboration), “Constraints on dark photons and axionlike particles from the SuperCDMS Soudan experiment”, Phys. Rev. D 101, 052008 (2020)
  • R. Agnese, et al. (SuperCDMS Collaboration), “Search for low-mass dark matter with CDMSlite using a profile likelihood fit”, Phys. Rev. D 99, 062001 (2019)
  • R. Agnese, et al. (SuperCDMS Collaboration), “Production Rate Measurement of Tritium and Other Cosmogenic Isotopes in Germanium with CDMSlite”, Astropart. Phys. 104, 1-12 (2019)
  • R. Agnese, et al. (SuperCDMS Collaboration), “Energy Loss Due to Defect Formation from Pb-206 Recoils in SuperCDMS Germanium Detectors”, Appl. Phys. Lett. 113, 092101 (2018)
  • R. Agnese, et al. (SuperCDMS Collaboration), “First Dark Matter Constraints from a SuperCDMS Single-Charge Sensitive Detector”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 121, 051301 (2018)