Karsten Heeger

Karsten Heeger's picture
Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics; Chair of Physics; Director, Wright Laboratory;
Neutrinos and Fundamental Symmetries
Elementary Particles
Astrophysics & Cosmology
Quantum Science & Sensing
+1 203-432-3378
Current Experiments: 
Biographical Sketch: 

Karsten Heeger is the Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics, Chair of the Physics Department, and Director of the Wright Laboratory at Yale University. His research focuses on the study of neutrino oscillations, neutrino mass, and dark matter. Prof. Heeger received his undergraduate degree in physics from Oxford University and his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in Seattle where he worked on a model-independent measurement of the solar 8B neutrino flux in the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO). Before joining the faculty at Yale University he was on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin and a Chamberlain Fellow at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. 

Heeger has served on national and international committees including the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel (HEPAP), the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee (NSAC), the Division of Particles and Fields (DPF) Executive Committee, and the American Physical Society (APS) Committee on International Scientific Affairs. He was a member of the 2015 Nuclear Physics Long Range Planning Group, the US ATLAS Project Advisory Group, and has served on review committees for the US Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC). He is co-chair of the APS DPF Coordinating Panel of Advanced Detectors (CPAD).


Professor Heeger’s research focuses on the study of neutrino oscillations and neutrino mass. He was involved in the resolution of the solar neutrino problem with the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO), the first observation of reactor antineutrino oscillation with KamLAND, and the first measurement of the neutrino mixing angle q13 with Daya Bay. Heeger is PI and co-spokesperson of PROSPECT, a precision measurement of reactor antineutrinos and search for sterile neutrinos at very short baselines. He is studying the nature of neutrinos with the CUORE double beta decay experiment and performing R&D with Project 8 towards a novel experiment to measure neutrino mass. In 2021 he was elected co-spokesperson of CUPID, the CUORE Upgrade with Particle Identification. 


Ph.D., University of Washington, Seattle, 2002

Honors & Awards: 

Heeger’s research work has been recognized with numerous awards. For his thesis work he was awarded the 2003 APS Dissertation Award in Nuclear Physics. In 2008 he received Outstanding Junior Investigator awards from DOE Nuclear Physics for the investigation of neutrino properties with bolometric detectors and from DOE High Energy Physics for the measurement of the neutrino mixing angle theta13 at Daya Bay. Heeger was awarded an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in 2009 and a University of Wisconsin Romnes Faculty Fellowship in 2011. He was named a Kavli Fellow in 2012 and elected Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2013. He shared the 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics as a member of three collaborations: SNO, KamLAND, and Daya Bay.