Elena Aprile, Ph.D.

Professor, Physics, Columbia UniversityElena Aprile’s website

Aprile is a professor of physics at Columbia University. After obtaining her undergraduate degree in physics in Naples, Italy, she earned her Ph.D. at the University of Geneva. Aprile started her research on noble liquid imaging detectors under the mentorship of Carlo Rubbia, first as a student at CERN and later as a postdoc at Harvard University. At Columbia, she pioneered the development of a Compton telescope for gamma-ray astrophysics based on a liquid xenon time projection chamber. She later turned her attention to the dark matter question and proposed the XENON project. She founded the XENON Dark Matter Collaboration in 2002 and has served as its scientific spokesperson ever since. Her international team includes more than 170 scientists and students representing 24 nationalities and 22 institutions. Aprile has been a principal investigator on more than 20 research grants worth nearly $30 million over the last three decades and holds a patent (jointly with her graduate student Danli Chen) for a vacuum ultraviolet light source.

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