Daniel Carney

"We have to remember that what we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning." -Heisenberg

NEWS: I am hiring a postdoc! If you're interested in the kind of work I do, and recently got your PhD, please see the links in this twitter thread. Nominal deadline Oct 17, but email me if you want to apply late.


I am a theoretical physicist, originally trained in string-y physics and now working near the theory-experiment intersection. I am a staff scientist at Berkeley National Lab (in terms of tenure, roughly equivalent to an assistant professor).

I use ideas from quantum information science to learn about fundamental physics. One way I do this is to use information theory to study high energy and gravitational theory. Another is to study the ultimate quantum limits to the detectability of faint signals.

A central application of my work is to develop new ideas for experimental searches for new particles, quantum gravity, and other elusive detection targets. Ultimately, I strongly suspect that quantum limits to measurement will play a central role in the formulation of a consistent quantum model of general relativity. In the meantime, many of these ideas have applications beyond fundamental physics, particularly to problems in quantum metrology and computing.

You can see my full list of papers: google scholar or inspire. Some highlights:

With Cindy Regal (JILA), Dave Moore (Yale), and Gordan Krnjaic (Fermilab), I organized a workshop at Maryland's Joint Quantum Institute: "Quantum Optomechanical Architectures for Dark Matter Detection". Thanks to the APS and Moore Foundation, JQI, and JILA for supporting this!

Workshop #2 on optomechanics and dark matter: online and open to all, April 9, 2021.


2017-2020: Postdoc, joint between

2014-2017: Postdoc, University of British Columbia (supervisors: Philip Stamp, Bill Unruh)

2007-2014: PhD Physics, Theory Group @ University of Texas, Austin

2003-2007: BS Physics, BA Math, University of Cincinnati

2005: Foreign exchange student, NUPACE program @ Nagoya University, Japan


I have a strong interest in teaching using methods supported by modern education research. In particular, I have been heavily involved with a number of inquiry-based learning projects (notably the UTeach program). Some examples from the ancient past where I had teaching duties:


Email: carney@lbl.gov