Mark Hanhardt is an experiment support scientist at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF), a PhD student at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, and a part-time supervillain. In addition to assisting with many of the ongoing experiments at SURF, Mark was the Operations Manager for the LUX (Large Underground Xenon) dark matter search during its run and now works as a researcher on the CASPAR (Compact Accelerator System for Performing Astrophysical Research) project.
We all have our origin in the stars. The atoms that make up the Earth, the mountains, the oceans, and our human bodies were forged in the hearts of stars. In a very real way, we are connected to the universe through the lineage of our elements. The investigation of that lineage is nuclear astrophysics, the field of study for the Compact Accelerator System for Performing Astrophysical Research (CASPAR) project.
Fundamental research is typically interested in exploring ideas on the very edge of human knowledge, attempting to broaden our understanding of the basic principles of matter and the universe so that we can develop new models that allow us to fathom undiscovered depths. There’s no predetermined application in mind for fundamental research, and so sometimes it can be referred to as blue-sky research. I like that term because I can imagine a researcher staring up into the clear, blue sky, pondering the universe and waiting for inspiration to strike. It struck Newton in the form of an apple. It struck the dinosaurs in the form of an asteroid. (But that’s not relevant to this discussion).
As a particle physicist, I work in a unique environment: a mile underground. I’m an Experiment Support Scientist with the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF), which means I support the various experiments we have throughout our entire underground campus. As a scientist, I have a distinctive job because I don’t work on just one project, but rather on many projects helping out where I am needed. The job can be busy, sometimes overwhelming, but it’s never boring. Follow me through a typical day working underground at SURF.
Krystian Rosłon is a PhD student at the Warsaw University of Technology. Since 2015, he has also been working at the Laboratory of High Energy Physics of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna (Russia).
His interest in research is extensive. He works on the cooling systems designed for the Slow Control System of the MPD Detector, as well as on the analysis of the K+K-femtoscopic correlation.
Moreover, he is involved in different popular science activities: he is the vice president of the interdepartmental science club “CAMAC”, assistant to the Association of Young Scientists and Specialists (AYSS) of JINR in the matters related to organizing conferences and other scientific events. He is also a project supervisor for students coming to Dubna to participate in the JINR International Student Practices and JINR Summer Student Programme.
Krystian Roslon didn't always want to be a physicist. In fact, he hated physics as a younger student and dreamt of a life as an enigmatic hacker. A great teacher in high school showed him the beauty in physics and how it surrounds us in the world.
Kelly Stifter is a 3rd year Ph.D. student and NSF fellow studying astroparticle physics at Stanford University. She is currently working at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory on designing, building, and operating mid-scale prototypes for the upcoming LZ detector, which will be looking for dark matter particles called WIMPs that scientists think make up 25% of the universe. Previously, she has worked at several different particle physics facilities including CERN, Fermilab, and the Soudan Mine. She has a passion for science communication and outreach, as well as contributing to efforts to bring increased equity and inclusion to all communities she belongs to. In her free time, she enjoys rock climbing, backpacking, and video games.
Kelly walks us through the elements of the LZ experiment, which is an acronym for the LUX (Large Underground Xenon) experiment and ZEPLIN (ZonEd Proportional scintillation in LIquid Noble gases) experiments. Acronyms in acronyms!
Julian Borrill leads the Computational Cosmology Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory - a collaboration between the lab's Physics and Computational Research Divisions to address the most computationally challenging problems in cosmology. His research is focused on deploying the most powerful supercomputers available to analyze observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), both to determine the basic parameters of fundamental physics and cosmology and to use as a backlight to the formation and evolution of structure in the Universe. After Masters degrees in Mathematics and Political Science, Astrophysics, and Information Technology, a Doctorate in Theoretical Physics, and postdoctoral research at Imperial College London, Dartmouth College, and Berkeley Lab, he became a Staff Scientist in 1999 and Senior Staff Scientist in 2010. He is the US Computational Systems Architect for the ESA/NASA Planck satellite mission, serves on the Data Management Committee of the Simons Observatory, and was recently elected co-Spokesperson of the proposed CMB-S4 network of ground-based CMB telescopes.
Collaboration between scientists working in laboratories around the globe can make the simplest of processes a pain. Sometimes, you just can;t meet talking face-to-face. Julian traveled to three different time zones to meet and work with scientists in the US, Chile, and Japan. After all that travel, he kicked up his shoes and brewed some craft beer.
At a friend’s birthday party this week I met a man whose opening conversational gambit – without knowing anything about my background – was a lengthy discourse on his theory of the equivalence of atomic and solar system dynamics, with electrons orbiting nuclei just as planets orbit stars... In this case, however, his immediate response was to inform me that if only I had studied the field I would understand the truth and profundity of his theory.
For the last 20 years, I’ve been developing pictures of the Big Bang.
The photons created in the Big Bang have been stretched by the expansion of space and now form a faint radiation field we call the Cosmic (since it is omnipresent) Microwave (since its intensity peaks at microwave frequencies) Background (since it comes from behind all astrophysical sources). It was accidentally discovered using a huge radio telescope, and indeed about a percent of the noise you can hear between FM radio stations is this echo of the Big Bang.
Since 2016, Juan Rojo has been Assistant Professor of Theoretical Physics at the Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam and Staff member at the Theory group of Nikhef, the Dutch National Institute for Subatomic Physics. After getting his PhD in Barcelona in 2006, he was a postdoctoral researcher in Paris, Milan and at CERN, followed by a faculty position at the University of Oxford. Juan's research interests are focused on the applications of Quantum Chromodynamics to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN and on the exploitation of Machine Learning algorithms in High-Energy Physics. More information about Juan can be found on his website www.juanrojo.com and you can also find him on Twitter: @JuanRojoC.
High Energy Physics finds itself at a crossroads, a fact commonly recognized within the scientific community. Paradoxically, the main reason for this state of affairs is none other than the extreme success of both our theoretical framework and our experimental programs. Indeed, our current understanding of elementary particles, as encapsulated by the Standard Model, has so far been confirmed with exquisite precision by countless experiments. Even then, there are still enough urgent fundamental questions that are so far left unanswered
I am convinced that science communications are an essential part of the scientific adventure. After all, if we investigate, how nature works at the highest energies and the smallest distances, it is important for us to tell everyone about it
Raquel Castillo Fernandez is a post-doctorate researcher at Fermilab working in the field of neutrino physics. She also organizes events for people to collaborate on, and learn more about, neutrino physics.
Raquel Castillo Fernandez studied nuclear theory at university and happened to go into neutrino physics by circumstance. After seeing the close-knit community of the neutrino physics community, she has been hooked.
In my last post, I talked about the international Large Synoptic Survey Telescope project and the genesis of Brookhaven’s participation in it. We’re now playing a major role in developing the digital “film” that will capture the most detailed images ever of the southern sky when LSST comes online in the early 2020s. We are all really excited for that day, but as scientists typically do, we’ve already started asking, “what's next after LSST?”
First came the talks. It was the year 2000, and scientist after scientist stood on the stage in Berkner Hall at Brookhaven National Laboratory and told us that something strange was happening to the universe. Supernova explosions from as long as seven billion years ago were not as bright as they should be. Giant sheets and filaments of dark matter were being mapped, and they did not form the structures they should.
Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Ruan Manqi is currently an associate researcher at the Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is currently leading the simulation efforts, establishing the CEPC detector geometry and accomplishing the physics potential studies at the Circular Electron Positron Collider. He is also very active at promoting the science to the public. He has organized lectures and training courses for scientists to teach them how to write for the public.
Alessia Embriaco is a 3rd year Ph.D. student working on Hadron therapy at INFN Pavia. She is currently working at the implementation of a model for the energy deposition of ion beam called MONET (Model of ioN dosE for Therapy), in the contest of cancer treatment. In addition to her research, Alessia is involved in many outreach activities, in particular organizes experiments and laboratories for children.
Silvia Biondi graduated in “Sapienza” University of Rome in 2013, with a master thesis on the New Small Wheel upgrade for the ATLAS Muon Spectrometer, LHC. She obtained her PhD in 2017 at the University of Bologna, working on the study of the Higgs boson production in association with top quark pairs at high-energy regimes. Now she is a INFN post-doc researcher at the same university and she is also an active member and photographer of the ATLAS outreach group at CERN and in Italy (ATLAS Italia).
Jessica Esquivel is a 5th year Ph.D. student studying high energy experimental physics from Syracuse University. She is currently working at Fermilab on the MicroBoone Collaboration, which works to detect ghostly particles called neutrinos in order to help us to crack several big mysteries of the universe. In addition to her research, Jessica is passionate about STEM outreach, bringing awareness to the lack of diversity in physics, and encouraging young minorities to reach their full potential.
Teppei Katori is an experimental particle physicist and a lecturer at Queen Mary University of London, UK. He obtained his PhD at Indiana University, Bloomington (2008) on neutrino cross section measurements and tests of Lorentz invariance with the MiniBooNE neutrino experiment, Fermilab. After taking postdoc position at Conrad group, MIT (2009-2013), he was appointed on the current position. He is the recipient of 2012 IUPAP C11 young scientist prize and 2013 APS Henry Primakoff award. Currently he serves as a committee member of IoP Astroparticle physics group.
Hi everyone, my name is Teppei Katori! I am a lecturer at Queen Mary University of London, UK. My research topics include nuclear physics, particle physics, and astrophysics, both theory and experiment. Yes, I am the "Teppei of all trades, master of..." oops. But this also applies to my private side, I like dancing, music, reading, football..., and many others.
Saurabh Sandilya is an experimental high energy physicist, currently working as a Post-Doctoral Researcher in the Department of Physics, University of Cincinnati. He is mostly located at the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK), Japan for the development and commissioning of the Time of Propagation detector for the Belle II experiment. He also analyses physics data from the electron positron collisions recorded by the Belle experiment at the KEKB accelerator.
I’m an experimental physicist in the field of high precision/low energy particle physics. Currently, I work at TRIUMF in of a small team of researchers who are taking part in one of the most fascinating pursuits in particle physics: the hunt for the electric dipole moment (EDM) of the neutron.
You work hard as a student and as a postdoc. You stumble into a great faculty job, where your university supports you, and you get to pick what you work on. As an added sweetener, that place of employment is a short drive from some lovely beaches, has gorgeous weather (the epic floods of 2016 notwithstanding) and is incredibly affordable. Sounds great right? That’s where I’ve found myself, Australia, and it’s really not what I had on my radar five or six years ago when I was frantically hoping to get a position to keep my research adventures in high-energy physics going. But here I am. With all good jobs in high energy physics research there comes a price.