Skip to Main Content

Press Release for Wednesday, September 30, 2015

UNF Professor Awarded Florida Space Research Program Grant

Media Contact: Andrea Mestdagh, Specialist

Department of Public Relations

(904) 620-2192


Dr. Chris Kelso, a University of North Florida assistant professor in the Department of Physics, was awarded a grant for more than $25,000 by the Florida Space Research Program to research and develop a dark matter analysis tool.


With this funding, Kelso will begin the development of a computational tool for comparing a generic dark matter model with current direct, indirect and collider dark matter searches. Dark matter is a hypothetical kind of matter that isn’t visible with telescopes, but accounts for most of the matter in the universe.


“This analysis tool will provide a unique and necessary service to the dark matter research community as we move beyond the standard dark matter paradigm and may be adopted as a standard method to test dark matter models,” said Kelso. “This will be a long-term project that will involve collaboration with several of the world’s leading experts on dark matter.”


The tool will have two forms, Web-based and local implementation. The Web-based form will allow a user with little coding experience to quickly test a dark matter model against the data, without needing to install any local applications. The local tool will be released as open source software and will allow a user to incorporate the tool into their own code for applications that aren’t suited for the Web-based application. For  example, a scan of many different dark matter models. 


The Florida Space Research Program is jointly funded by the Florida Space Grant Consortium and Space Florida. The purpose of FSRP is to support the expansion and diversification of Florida’s space industry by increasing statewide academic involvement in space research, engineering, education and training programs that are consistent with the state’s space industry priorities.


The mission of the Department of Physics is to provide excellent educational experiences in physics, astronomy and geological science, as well as to advance knowledge in physics through research and service to the University, public and our profession.


UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.