ECL Mission

THE ENERGETIC COSMOS LABORATORY: a plan for a long-lived, successful laboratory


Under the Future Energy Laboratory Kazakhstan Government directive, we propose a laboratory unit for the study of The High Energy Universe and related topics, which explicitly includes the study of gravity, “dark energy”, and cosmology, all of which are tied to high-energy Physics. There is a clear justification of this grouping: we must look to the cosmos, and the beginning of the universe itself, to see new phenomena and to reach higher energy scales of physical processes.

Our Proposal – the ECL

ECL will be involved in activities on a wide variety of topics in high energy cosmic theory, experiment, and data analysis.

Theory Program

The Theory Program carries out fundamental investigations into the origin of dark energy and the nature of spacetime, and explores theories of gravity extending beyond Einstein relativity, including testing against observational data. Researchers interact closely with the experimental and data analysis programs by inspiring new techniques and measurements, and interpreting the energetic cosmos results.

They develop advanced statistical techniques for international spectroscopic surveys to explore the nature of cosmic acceleration, model time domain data from black holes and supernovae in next generation cosmic imaging surveys, and probe the ultra high energy universe back to 10-35 seconds after the Big Bang through inflationary gravitational wave signatures in the cosmic microwave background (CMB).

Data Analysis Science Program

The data analysis science program acts as an essential link between the Theory and Experiment programs. Data analysis researchers will interact with both theory and experiment researchers, analyzing the measurements in terms of advanced statistical methods and comparing to the theoretical predictions. High performance computing will deal with massive data sets from leading experiments, modeling and extracting key insights on the nature of the energetic cosmos.

ECL has ties to extensive, data rich optical, infrared, and cosmic microwave background experiments and massively multiplexed spectroscopy projects, which are on the forefront of discovery in astrophysics.

Gamma-ray Burst Telescope

Gamma-ray bursts are the most energetic explosions in the universe; they are so bright, they can be detected back to the era of the first stars and beyond.

They are unique demonstrations of high energy physics in their own right, but they are also interesting as sources that “lighting up” the distant universe for study.

Gamma-ray Burst Telescope

The emission mechanisms for the actual initial bright gamma-ray burst (GRB) are essentially undetermined. There is a lack of optical emission measurement in the critical period less than about 60 s after burst detection begins, particularly the optical-to-infrared spectral slope. This project develops an instrument to observe the GRBs within seconds of a burst, by moving a single lightweight mirror rather than an entire telescope, as other instruments do.

Schematic of the history of the Universe

Advanced Cryogenic Detector Research Facility

Professor Smoot is keenly interested in advanced detector work, particularly in MKID (microwave kinetic inductance detectors) and other detectors requiring cryogenic facilities. The MKIDs are superconducting devices that can be manufactured in large numbers, each tuned to a specific frequency band, an area of active international research. These are used in sub-mm detectors, and soon in optical and near-infra-red detectors.


Prof. Smoot has always found that, given talented, motivated young people, and the best resources, there is no limit to what they can accomplish. We want to provide this opportunity to the people and scientific community of Kazakhstan. That is the goal of the ECL.