Particle People

  • 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.

    Blog Posts

    • 28th September 2018Mark Hanhardt

      CASPAR: Studying the Stars from a Mile Underground

      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.

    • 21st September 2018Mark Hanhardt

      Why Do Fundamental Research?

      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).

    • 14th September 2018Mark Hanhardt

      A Day in the Life of a Subterranean Astronaut

      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.

    Blog Posts

    • 24th August 2018Krystian Roslon

      Our Experiment

      Krystian talks about the NICA experiment: studying the properties of matter at the maximum baryonic density available in laboratory conditions.

    • 17th August 2018Krystian Roslon

      Touring NICA

      Krystian Roslon gives us a quick rundown of the Nuclotron based Ion Collider fAcility (NICA) Complex at JINR in Russia.

    • 10th August 2018Krystian Roslon

      Getting started in particle physics.

      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.

    Blog Posts

    • 3rd August 2018Kelly Stifter

      Now That I Have a Degree, How Do I Get a Life?

      Kelly Stifter asks the big question: “What are you going to do once you graduate?” How do you find something that not only pays the bills but also lets you find fulfillment?

    • 30th July 2018Kelly Stifter

      There's More to Research than Research

      Kelly talks about the interconnectedness required for scientific research. Science can't occur in a vacuum, it needs to be shared with the public, elected officials and other scientists.

    • 16th July 2018Kelly Stifter

      Diving into Dark Matter (and Acronyms)!

      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.

    Blog Posts

    • 27th June 2018Julian Borrill

      A Month in the Life

      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.

    • 15th June 2018Julian Borrill

      #man2mansplaining

      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.

    • 8th June 2018Julian Borrill

      Cosmic Microwave Whatnow?

      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.

  • Nationaal Instituut voor Subatomaire Fysica

    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.

    Blog Posts

    • 25th May 2018Juan Rojo

      Beyond bikes, cheese, and tulips

      Juan Rojo takes us on a survey of the many enjoyable factors of living and working in the Netherlands. There's far more to the Dutch than their love of bicycles, fine cheese, tulips.

    • 16th May 2018Juan Rojo

      Quo Vadis, High Energy Physics?

      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

    • 10th May 2018Juan Rojo

      Adventures and Misadventures in the Twittersphere

      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 is a postdoctoral Research Associate working on the MicroBooNE experiment at Fermilab.

    Blog Posts

    • 23rd April 2018Raquel Castillo Fernandez

      A Day at Work

      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.

    • 11th April 2018Raquel Castillo Fernandez

      Working in 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.

    • 5th April 2018Raquel Castillo Fernandez

      Why Physics?

      Raquel realized in University that though she had opportunities to learn history and philosophy, she could create science.

  • Zhu Kai is an Associate Professor at the Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP). There, he mainly studies the decay and production of charmonium and XYZ resonances at the BESIII experiment.

    Blog Posts

    • 8th March 2018Zhu Kai

      Language

      Zhu Kai thinks about languages and the culture shock that crops up in international conversation.

  • Peter Knapp is a 32 year old Masters of Research student working at CERN.

    Blog Posts

    • 27th February 2018Peter Knapp

      The Nature of Antimatter

      Peter Knapp gets an author credit in Nature, makes a sausage roll out of plasma, and considers his future.

    • 14th February 2018Peter Knapp

      Music to my Engin-eers

      Peter enlightens some politicians on answers to the Life (at CERN), the Universe, and Everything while he considers his future in science (or as a rock musician).

    • 8th February 2018Peter Knapp

      What's Up With Antimatter?

      Peter Knapp, an MRes student, shares about his experiences working in particle physics at CERN.

  • Blog Posts

    • 1st November 2017Paul O’Connor

      Exploring the Cosmic Frontier

      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?”

    • 30th October 2017Paul O’Connor

      Mapping the Cosmic Frontier

      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.

  • Blog Posts

    • 26th September 2017Qingjin Xu

      To Satisfy Your Curiosity

      My daughter Lele is very happy today, since it is her seven-year-old birthday! She jumped to my bed in the morning, and yelled to me: here it comes! The great day!

  • 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.

    Blog Posts

  • 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.

  • Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare

    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).

    Blog Posts

  • Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

    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.

    Blog Posts

  • High Energy Accelerator Research Organization

    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.

    Blog Posts

    • 22nd May 2017Teppei Katori

      Meet Teppei Katori

      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.

  • High Energy Accelerator Research Organization

    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.

  • TRIUMF

    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.

  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Particle Physics at the Terascale

    I lead the experimental particle physics group at the University of Adelaide and am a member of CoEPP (the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Particle Physics at the Terascale).

    I’m a member of the ATLAS and Belle II experiments where I’m using new techniques to search for physics we have yet to observe.

    Blog Posts

    • 27th March 2017Paul Jackson

      Life’s a beach

      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.