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Pete Barry

Assistant Physicist - Term

Pete is a member of the experimental cosmology group. Pete’s research interests focus on the development of novel ultra-sensitive detector technologies based on superconducting thin-films.


Pete’s research interests focus on the development of novel, ultra-sensitive detector technology for applications in cosmology and astrophysics. Largely based on the use of superconducting thin-films, such technology has the ability to open up new and unique windows into how the Universe has evolved since the big bang.

Currently, Pete is involved in a number of projects that span a wide-range of applications. Examples include construction of large format superconducting detector arrays for future cosmic microwave background experiments, to the demonstration of novel on-chip mm-wave spectrographs capable of performing three-dimensional tomographic-mapping of the Universe out to the epoch-of-reionization, and recently, Pete has started work on the design and development of quantum-limited single-photon detectors for novel axion dark-matter searches.

Pete received both his undergraduate degree and Ph.D from Cardiff University, Wales, UK. Following a postdoctoral  at the University of Chicago he moved to Argonne as an assistant physicist in 2018. Pete continues to work closely with the University of Chicago and holds a joint position through the University of Chicago Consortium for Advanced Science and Engineering programme. 

Research interests

  • Cosmology
  • High-redshift astrophysics
  • Detector physics and simulation
  • Instrumentation
  • RF/microwave electronics
  • Solid-state physics
  • Nano fabrication methods and processes