Mazin Lab

Mazin Lab, led by Professor Ben Mazin, is a part of the Department of Physics at UCSB.  We are focused on using a unique detector technology called Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detectors (MKIDs) for astronomy in the near infrared, optical, ultraviolet, and X-ray. MKIDs allow us to determine the energy and arrival time of individual photons without read noise or dark current. The applications of this technology spans a wide range of vital research areas, including detecting Earth-like planets around nearby stars, untangling the emission mechanisms of pulsars, determining the redshift of billions of galaxies, and detecting dark matter.


Top Left: A 20,440 pixel Optical/near-IR MKID Array.  Top Right: On-sky diffraction limited 950-1350 nm and SSD map from MEC of a companion to HIP 109427. Bottom Left:  A microscope image of a MKID.  Bottom Right: DARKNESS being mounted to the Palomar 200" Hale Telescope cass cage.


April, 2021: Graduate Student Hawkins Clay received the NSTGRO fellowship.

December, 2020: The MEC instrument paper is now published in PASP. Press release here.

April, 2020: Mazin Lab undergraduate researcher Clarissa Rizzo was awarded an NSF Graduate Fellowship

March, 2020: Mazin Lab awarded a grant for exoplanet direct imaging technology from the Heising-Simons Foundation.

July, 2019: New Air and Space Magazine article on MKIDs  

April, 2019: Graduate Student Jenny Smith awarded the NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship  

March, 2019: Watch Professor Mazin's presentation at the Amazon MARS conference

March, 2019: Graduate Student Alex Walter accepted a NASA Postdoctoral Progream (NPP) Fellowship at JPL

April, 2018: DARKNESS commissioning paper published in PASP.  Press release here.

March, 2018: MEC is installed at the Subaru Telescope

August, 2017: Professor Ben Mazin has been awarded the Worster Chair in Experimental Physics

July, 2017: Graduate Student Clint Bockstiegel honored with the IEEE Council on Superconductivity Graduate Study Fellowship

May, 2017: 2017 Ph.D. Seth Meeker received a NASA NPP at JPL, but declined it for a JPL Staff Position

May, 2017: 2017 Ph.D. Paul Szypryt received a NRC Postdoctoral Fellowship (NPP) at NIST Boulder

April, 2017: Graduate Student Nicholas Zobrist Awarded a NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship

March, 2017: Graduate Student Isabel Lipartito awarded a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

July 21, 2016: First light of the DARKNESS camera!

Office:  Broida Hall 2015H

Lab:  Broida Hall 3509

Phone/Fax: (805)893-3344


Department of Physics  

Bldg. 572 Room 1311          

University of California       

Santa Barbara, CA 93106 USA