Dean Karlen

Dean  Karlen
R.M. Pearce Professor of Physics
University of Victoria and TRIUMF
Office: Elliott 217

B.Sc. (U Alberta), PhD (Stanford)

Area of expertise

Experimental particle physics

Prof. Karlen has participated in particle physics experiments around the world. Beginning in the 1980s with the Mark-II experiment at SLAC, USA, and then in the 1990s with the OPAL experiment at CERN, Switzerland, he studied aspects of the standard model of particle physics with high energy electron-positron collisions. In the early 2000s, he helped lead the effort to develop and demonstrate the performance of a new type of precision detector, known as a micropattern Time Projection Chamber, for a future high energy linear electron-positron collider. He then led the project to incorporate this technology into the long baseline neutrino experiment, T2K in Japan, where three large volume detectors have been operating in the underground near detector facility since 2009. Prof. Karlen is the principle investigator for projects funded by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and Provincial governments to build a superconducting electron accelerator and expand isotope production capabilities at TRIUMF, as part of the ARIEL project. From 2011-2017 he was director of the Victoria Subatomic Physics and Accelerator Research Centre (VISPA).

Prior to coming to the University of Victoria and TRIUMF in 2002, Prof. Karlen was a professor in the Department of Physics at Carleton University, in Ottawa.

In this Faces of UVic Research video, Dean Karlen explains the nature of neutrino particles and why it is important to study them.

Research interests

  • Electroweak physics
  • Neutrino physics
  • Detector development
  • Accelerator development

Current projects

Current graduate students
  • Joseph Adegun (PhD)
  • Marla Cervantes (PhD)
  • Kyle Gao (MSc)
  • Paul Jung (MSc)
  • Purvaja Karthikeyan (PhD)
  • Spencer Kiy (MSc)
  • Fernando Maldonado (PhD)
  • Olivier Shelbaya (PhD)
  • Muhammad Usman (MSc)
Graduated students (UVic)
  • Jason Abernathy (MSc)
  • Casey Bojechko (PhD)
  • Marla Cervantes (MSc)
  • Kyle Fransham (MSc)
  • Andre Gaudin (MSc)
  • Fernando Maldonado (MSc)
  • Jordan Myslik (PhD)
  • Gabe Rosenbaum (MSc)
  • Nicolas Savard (MSc)
  • Doug Storey (MSc, PhD)

INSPIRE listing (all publications)

Selected Publications:

Neutrino physics

K. Abe, et al., Precise Measurement of the Neutrino Mixing Parameter θ23 from Muon Neutrino Disappearance in an Off-axis Beam, Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 181801 (2014).

K. Abe, et al., Observation of Electron Neutrino Appearance in a Muon Neutrino Beam,Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 061802 (2014).

K. Abe, et al., Measurement of Neutrino Oscillation Parameters from Muon Neutrino Disappearance with an Off-Axis Beam , Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 211803 (2012).

K. Abe, et al., First muon-neutrino disappearance study with an off-axis beam, Phys. Rev. D85, 031103(R) (2012).

K. Abe, et al., Indication of Electron Neutrino Appearance from an Accelerator-produced Off-axis Muon Neutrino Beam, Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 041801 (2011).

D. Karlen, Progress on θ13, Proceedings of 2011 Physics in Collision Conference, Vancouver, August 2011.

D. Karlen, The Number of Light Neutrino Types from Collider Experiments, in Review of Particle Physics, Phys. Rev. D86, 010001 (2012).

Time Projection Chambers

D. Karlen et al., TPC Performance in Magnetic Fields with GEM and Pad Readout, Nuclear Instruments and Methods, A555 (2005) 80-92.

D. Karlen, Time Projection Chambers, in Review of Particle Physics, Phys. Rev. D86, 010001 (2012).

N. Abgrall, et al., Time Projection Chambers for the T2K experiment, Nucl.Instrum.Meth. A637 (2011) 25-46.

  • Physics 342: Computer Modeling and Analysis
  • Physics 515: Data Analysis Techniques

The websites for these courses are hosted on UVic CourseSpaces.

Highlights of research career
1987 Published first single author paper, on a quantum electrodynamics calculation and simulation. It has received over 130 citations.
1989-2000 Leading expert for OPAL Vertex Detector operating at the CERN LEP collider.
1990-91 Coordinator of physics analyses for the OPAL collaboration.
1991 Primary author on the first publication of the direct determination of the number of neutrino types.
1995 Primary author on the first publication demonstrating a significant difference between baryon and meson lifetimes of hadrons containing the b-quark.
1998 Invited plenary speaker on “Experimental Status of the Standard Model” at the International Conference on High Energy Physics, the largest conference in the field, held every 2 years.
1999- Initiated Canadian participation in planning for the International Linear Collider, receiving NSERC funds to support physicists across Canada. The ILC is among the highest priority projects in the Canadian particle physics long range plan.
2000 Received Research Achievement Award at Carleton University.
2002 Accepted appointment as the R.M. Pearce Chair at the University of Victoria
2003 Joined the T2K collaboration, an international experiment based in Japan designed to make the most precise measurements of neutrino oscillations.
2003 Completed the first demonstration of a new type of particle detector in a magnetic field – a micropattern time projection chamber. Lead author of 2005 publication.
2004 Proposed and led the incorporation of micropattern time projection chambers as a key element of the T2K experiment. In order to operate the detectors, a 600 ton magnet from CERN has been redeployed to Japan for the experiment.
2005- Successfully completed a large scale prototype T2K time projection chamber.
2006- Received full capital funding for over $1M from NSERC for the T2K time projection chambers. Leads the international collaboration to build the detectors.
2007 Named to Thomson Scientific’s ISI Highly Cited Index - only 300 physicists worldwide are included.
2007- The three large micropattern time projection chambers for T2K are completed at TRIUMF. Detectors successfully operated in test beam facilities at TRIUMF. Detectors installed in underground facility in Japan in Fall 2009. Ongoing project leader.
2008- Principle Investigator for the proposal to the Canadian Foundation for Innovation to build a superconducting electron accelerator at TRIUMF. The proposal includes 29 researchers from 13 Universities across Canada, and is the cornerstone for the next Five Year Plan of the TRIUMF laboratory. The machine will produce isotopes for nuclear and materials science and demonstrate a new way to produce medical isotopes. The total project cost exceeds $50M. CFI announced project approval in June 2009.
2009-2011 Experimental operations coordinator for the T2K experiment (> 300 physicists).
2015-2016 Chair of the 2017-2021 Long Range Plan committee for Subatomic Physics research in Canada