Country Institution Person Search
United StatesDuke UniversityAdryanna SmithUnited StatesDuke UniversityAdryanna SmithEvery time we go swing dancing, I always meet another physicist or engineer or Linux enthusiast. A dance is asking for your creativity as much as your rhythm, so I think physicists really connect with it. Looking around the dance floor, all you see is the fluid energy in a couple's steps—and you’re all smiles because it just looks effortless. But when you’re the one dancing, that’s when all of the freedom hidden inside the rules becomes clear. That’s when a subtle interaction will bring out your grin. I'm a second-year grad student working on how we’ll see supernova neutrinos in our detectors. I realized I loved physics when I was in a chemistry class and the only thing I could focus on was the electron. And then when I discovered quarks, that was a whole new world. They’re endearing. It’s easy to get caught up with 'this is a desk, this is a banana, this is a fern.' But then I think that under all of that, there’s this laughing ecosystem of particles that know how to interact with one another, and they have a system that works for them, and they get along. Just because we don’t always know how they get along doesn’t mean it’s not important.
Adryanna Smith
Duke University
United KingdomUniversity of OxfordAidan ReynoldsUnited KingdomUniversity of OxfordAidan ReynoldsAs a kid I was always into sports; I got quite good at javelin. I always wanted to know how to throw further, and when I threw well I always wanted to understand why so I could do it again. I quickly found out that physics was the answer to most of the questions I had: what angle is the best angle, how does spin help keep the javelin straight, why does keeping a longer arm make the javelin go further, etc. Once I started to find things out, I always ended up wanting to find out more or to use what I learned to work out something else. One of the things I enjoy is the challenge involved in all the research and development needed for the Liquid Argon Time Projection Chamber Technology. This is still a new technology with a huge amount of work needed to make sure it can achieve all the goals that DUNE wants to achieve.
Aidan Reynolds
University of Oxford
United StatesKansas State UniversityAjib PaudelUnited StatesKansas State UniversityAjib PaudelI’m from Nepal, which is full of mountains. I like cycling, trekking and mountaineering. Since I was a kid, I’ve liked mathematics. At the same time, I liked experimenting with things. Physics was one place where I could follow both my interests, doing experiments and calculations at the same time. Now I’m a graduate student working on DUNE. I enjoy that DUNE is an international collaboration where I can meet people from across the globe. I work on one of the prototype detectors for DUNE. I did work on the hardware for the high-voltage system, and now I’m focused on figuring out how we can calibrate the detector when taking data with cosmic muons. I like that I get to do both installation and data analysis for this project.
Ajib Paudel
Kansas State University
United KingdomSTFC Daresbury LaboratoryAlan GrantUnited KingdomSTFC Daresbury LaboratoryAlan GrantI'm helping build the DUNE anode plane assemblies (APAs), which will form the major part of the DUNE detector. We recently finished two prototype APAs for installation in a cryostat at CERN. Now we're fine-tuning the APA build process in preparation for the full production run of 150 APAs. The APAs are large and made of thousands of turns of wire, roughly 24 kilometers for each APA. It's an engineering challenge to wind the wire and build the wire chambers. Another challenge will be to set up the production factory. I've always enjoyed technical subjects, even going through school — technical drawing, metal and woodwork. Technology and hands-on related subjects. Before moving into Daresbury, I served a four-year apprenticeship as a toolmaker at Ford Motor Company. I stayed a further two years before I left to do a degree in mechanical engineering at Liverpool University. I had a couple of positions elsewhere in industry before I joined Daresbury Laboratory. I enjoy working at Daresbury. The work is always challenging and never mundane or routine. I've now been here roughly 28 years. There's always a new project around the corner. When I'm not working, I enjoy going walking in the lake district. I go up there regularly with my wife and enjoy short breaks taking in the scenery. My other passion is golf. I am a keen golfer and a member of a local golf club. I especially enjoy the 19th hole and the tales of the score that might have been.
Alan Grant
STFC Daresbury Laboratory
SwitzerlandCERNAlbert De RoeckSwitzerlandCERNAlbert De RoeckI was the Higgs convener when the Higgs was discovered, meaning I was one of the first people that saw we had a discovery. How to describe it… it’s sensational. I imagine it’s like what people feel when they go to climb Mount Everest and reach the top. I’ve never done that, so I can’t be sure it’s the same. My drive is to search for new things. And with neutrinos, what attracts me is that it’s such an enigmatic particle. It’s the particle we understand the least. It’s full of surprises. I like the mystery. One of my other interests is in Egyptology, and I like the mystery of the pyramids, the Sphinx. For the past few years I have been teaching physics in Cairo and had some spare time to pursue my hobby.
Albert De Roeck
United KingdomUniversity of SussexAlexander BoothUnited KingdomUniversity of SussexAlexander BoothI have a severe travel bug and am always thinking about the next trip overseas - anywhere I can find camping, hiking and good food is somewhere I would like to go. My partner and I spent 18 months traveling through 24 countries on an overland trip from the UK to Australia. Buses, trains and boats only. I have recently been working as part of the group investigating DUNE’s ability to detect supernovae in the Milky Way and beyond. I like that you really have to get creative when designing algorithms to find these events. Not to mention that humans have only ever detected neutrinos from one supernova, so everyone is excited about what we might learn from seeing another.
Alexander Booth
University of Sussex
United KingdomUniversity of OxfordAlfons WeberUnited KingdomUniversity of OxfordAlfons WeberI love fantasy and sci-fi, for escapism. Even if the physics is ridiculous, or non-existent, I don’t care. There are still those books where you try to go to bed, start reading, and find yourself at 3 o’clock thinking, 'Damn, I have to get up at 7.' The strange thing with books is that I almost immediately forget what I read. That doesn’t happen with physics. There are few things to remember and you can derive most of it by thinking logically. What I really like, and why I became a particle physicist, is working with different people from lots of areas. I like collaborating, having the (scientific) arguments, finding the solutions, and finding out something new by working together. Which sounds a lot like the plot of a good book.
Alfons Weber
University of Oxford
MexicoUniversity of ColimaAlfredo "Fefo" ArandaMexicoUniversity of ColimaAlfredo "Fefo" ArandaI crossed the US-Mexico border every day - with the corresponding revision process - during my entire undergraduate education. I studied in El Paso, TX, and lived in Juarez, Mexico. I recall my first university physics class. I basically did not speak English, my professor did not speak Spanish, and of course the class was in English. My physics and math levels were good enough to be able to solve all homework and test problems. I was doing fine, that is, until the professor decided to include several wordy lab-related questions in one of the midterm exams. I did not understand the questions, and even if I had, it would have been impossible to write the answers. I left them blank. Next day in class, the prof starts giving exams back. When he gets to me, he throws the pieces of paper onto my table and says, with a heavy Texan accent: ‘Next time bring your English-Spanish dictionary.’ I was delighted.
Alfredo "Fefo" Aranda
University of Colima
United StatesUniversity of Colorado BoulderAlysia MarinoUnited StatesUniversity of Colorado BoulderAlysia MarinoI have spent far more time in mines than I ever would have imagined, working on various physics experiments. Descending into the earth at 20 miles per hour while standing inside a dark metal box that is attached to a mile-long steel cable does take some getting used to. For six years, I was a graduate student doing research with the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory in Canada, which required periodic trips to Sudbury - and below. Being a graduate student on the SNO experiment at the time when we made a Nobel Prize-winning discovery was incredible. As a postdoc I worked on the MINOS experiment: I spent a lot of time 350 feet underground to work on the MINOS near detector at Fermilab, and I even had a chance to see the MINOS far detector, located a half mile underground at the Soudan Underground Laboratory in Minnesota. I also have visited the former Homestake Mine, which now houses the Sanford Underground Research Facility, the future home of the DUNE far detectors. I expect to spend more time underground in the future with DUNE. With my research I want to help answer some of the biggest and most fundamental questions in the universe. I always liked knowing how things work.
Alysia Marino
University of Colorado Boulder
United StatesOregon State UniversityAmit BashyalUnited StatesOregon State UniversityAmit BashyalI enjoy working in the neutrino physics community. It’s small, but well-connected. I realized that in a few years, you can get to know a lot of people. It’s really interesting. When I’m not doing physics, I like to hike a lot. I used to hike almost every week in Oregon, as long as the weather would permit. I hiked over the area near Newport, near the university, and I would drive a couple of hours just to hike in new places. When you’re hiking, you’re enjoying the nature, and it also gives you a kind of relaxation because you are all by yourself. You can just think about whatever comes into your mind without any restrictions. And the silence is really refreshing. And it’s kind of like a quest, because you are following a trail to get somewhere and then you come back. You really feel like you have done something.
Amit Bashyal
Oregon State University
SwitzerlandUniversity of BernAntonio EreditatoSwitzerlandUniversity of BernAntonio EreditatoI have been a neutrino physicist for about 30 years, and I’m also proud to be one of the founders of DUNE. I was a member of the Interim International Board in 2014, with 20-ish people, and we set up the base of the experiment. It feels a little bit like my child. This work, as you know, is really pervasive. You never switch off. Saying I don’t work on science, it’s impossible. We are thinking about it – even when we take a shower. DUNE will last decades, but I am used to that: I was one of the guys who proposed the OPERA neutrino experiment, and from the first idea to the end it took 15 years, a large part of my life. It was the most challenging scientific enterprise I had been a part of. To some extent, DUNE is much more relaxed for me, because I’m one of thousands colleagues working on it.
Antonio Ereditato
University of Bern
United StatesUniversity of TexasBeatriz Tapia OreguiUnited StatesUniversity of TexasBeatriz Tapia OreguiWhen I was younger, I sang in a choir. Becoming a professional opera singer was one of the first professions I considered. In school, however, I started to realize how much I loved science — how it seeks to answer questions about things we don’t understand. And physics was my favorite because it used math to describe everything around us. I read a lot of books about science, but they were non-technical and helped spark my interest in science as a child. I still love reading and immersing myself in learning and traveling. After my undergraduate degree, which I got in Germany, I moved to the U.S. Since moving here, I’ve been able to fully explore how much I love physics. The physics culture here, on projects like DUNE, encourages communication and collaboration. I just love watching this kind of collaborative dream we have come together.
Beatriz Tapia Oregui
University of Texas
United StatesUniversity of MinnesotaBill MillerUnited StatesUniversity of MinnesotaBill MillerI spent 28 years going a half mile underground every day to build the MINOS, CDMS, and Soudan detectors, and the last 8 years building and operating the NOvA Far Detector. I’ve dedicated my whole life to making physicists happy—they come with these crazy ideas and we try to make them happen. I worked on the mechanical tests for how ProtoDUNE goes together at the NOvA lab in Ash River, Minnesota, and spent a year and a half assembling the pieces that were delivered to CERN. It’s a great group of people that we worked with at CERN. It’s a family. It’s like the old collaborations when you knew everybody and their children and had potluck dinners together. There’s a real camaraderie that’s not always present in these large collaborations. I really enjoy getting together with people outside of the work environment. I think you end up ultimately getting a much better product when you’re all working together. I’ll be around to help develop the installation procedures for DUNE, but in theory I’ll retire before they build the first detector. I’ll have to come back and see it.
Bill Miller
University of Minnesota
United StatesFermilabBob ZwaskaUnited StatesFermilabBob ZwaskaMy career in physics started with math. When I was younger, math was recreation for me. There was a famous column in Scientific American for many years called ‘Mathematical Recreations.’ It was fun to play around with numbers. Later, I was thrilled to learn that numbers could be applied to the real world and actually be able to do things! You can connect the time and the motion of things to all these other factors. The dynamics of connecting those things together, it's still interesting. This will sound terribly geeky, but at a certain point learning calculus and differential equations, it clicked for me in a big way. Now, I particularly like the idea of these large science facilities like DUNE. Contributing to building these one-of-a-kind facilities and seeing them operate and produce science, that's what keeps me engaged. It's not the kind of thing that any one person can do, which makes it really challenging and interesting.
Bob Zwaska
United StatesStony Brook UniversityChang Kee JungUnited StatesStony Brook UniversityChang Kee JungI am a member of the DUNE Spokespersons Advisory Committee. Scientifically, this is a very, very, challenging project. We're going to measure CP violation in neutrinos to address the matter-antimatter asymmetry in the universe, one of the most profound questions in science. It's exciting to tackle that, and the way we choose to do it is challenging. It's like climbing Mount Everest — when you go up a peak, it's challenging. But you go with partners — that camaraderie, the friendship you build, is incredible. You have your own view of the world at the peak. I also like meeting new people, especially young people — help them, mentor them and then assist them to find their goals in life and be successful and be happy. I'm hoping all young people can have all that feeling of discovery when they get to the peak. I was a really, really bad student in college. My graduating GPA was 2.73 with two probations. I can confidently say that in the history of American higher education, I had the lowest GPA to get a graduate school fellowship — not a good example to follow. I did write some music that became popular in South Korea. I wrote a mountain song — it had a yodel part — when I was captain of the Alpine Club in university. When I went back years later, they were having a campfire party. They were singing this song, and I asked how they came to learn it. They said it was popular among alpine clubs in Korea. I was surprised that, 30 years later, they were singing the song I wrote. One of the guys at the campfire party had a connection to Mountain Magazine, and they sent a reporter the next day. The magazine interviewed me, and they were happy to find the composer.
Chang Kee Jung
Stony Brook University
United StatesUniversity of South CarolinaChatura KuruppuUnited StatesUniversity of South CarolinaChatura KuruppuI did my undergraduate studies at the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka. It has been a long journey to fulfill my dream to become a particle physicist. The reason I chose particle physics is because it helps us understand the fundamental laws and symmetries – those governed by mother nature. If someone knows the fundamental laws of physics, then it opens portals to understand almost anything. Physics is the queen of all the sciences, and particle physics is the pearl in her necklace. I feel very lucky to work at Fermilab and contribute to cutting-edge neutrino experiments like DUNE. The beauty of DUNE is its diversity. Over 1,000 collaborators from 175 institutions in 32 countries work closely to achieve common scientific goals. It's not just one country; it’s everyone. I really appreciate that. My dream is to become a postdoc when the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility starts DUNE.
Chatura Kuruppu
University of South Carolina
United KingdomUniversity of LiverpoolChristos TouramanisUnited KingdomUniversity of LiverpoolChristos TouramanisI once took a bike trip all the way from the UK to Greece and back. It was a memorable trip and something I was quite proud of. I love driving through interesting places and taking detours. Sometimes I take the small, winding roads through the mountains in France to check out the scenery and the culture. Travel is almost symbolic in my life. When I was returning from a trip to SLAC in California, I was in the airport and got a call from some of my colleagues from the UK. They were putting together T2K, a neutrino experiment, and as I was checking in at the airport, these colleagues started to tell me about it. I went into the terminal with my passport and I started to think about joining T2K. It was as if I was crossing over into a career in neutrino physics right there at the terminal. Ever since then I’ve worked on neutrinos. Now, for DUNE, I find I really enjoy the challenge of working with novel technologies on a large scale. I also get to come into contact with so many cultures and young people with fresh new ideas and witness it all melding together.
Christos Touramanis
University of Liverpool
SpainCIEMATClara CuestaSpainCIEMATClara CuestaThanks to my studies and research, I’ve lived in many countries and worked in several underground laboratories, including Gran Sasso and Sanford Lab. I love traveling and getting to know different people and places. It is amazing to go to work a mile underground. You go down at 7 a.m. and come back up at 5:30 p.m. There are cleanrooms, Wi-Fi, everything. Working on DUNE, I’m responsible for the light calibration system for the dual-phase detector. I like that it is a big collaboration, and at the end of the road, we all work together to answer big questions – such as the origin of matter in the universe.
Clara Cuesta
United StatesSanford Underground Research FacilityConstance WalterUnited StatesSanford Underground Research FacilityConstance WalterI have always loved science and I’ve always loved writing. People used to say to me, ‘What are you going to do with an English degree,’ as if it were a terrible thing to study literature and writing and to want to be a better communicator. I almost bought into that at one time. I was ready to give it up and go back into something ‘useful,’ like study accounting or managing a restaurant. Then I started working in journalism in college—that was my first calling. Now I’m working in a place I could never have imagined. I never thought I would come to work one day in a suit and the next in hard-toed boots with really ugly safety glasses. I love being able to tell people what’s happening at SURF and what DUNE means for science and the communities in which we live. Lead used to be a mining town. Our facility was once a gold mine, and the largest employer in the region. Over 1,000 people worked there. When the mine shut down, people lost their jobs, their homes. Their families moved away. Their children moved away. What was once a thriving community was on the verge of disappearing. But this experiment brings so much promise to the region. I love the excitement I see from the people of Lead and the surrounding areas when we talk about what is coming.
Constance Walter
Sanford Underground Research Facility
United StatesUniversity of HoustonDaniel CherdackUnited StatesUniversity of HoustonDaniel CherdackI wanted to be a physicist to try to understand the world around me. For example, I am interested in understanding the weak interaction. It's one of the four known forces, but it's really weird. It plays a less obvious role in holding the universe together, but it does lots of things that the other forces don’t do. So, are these unique properties fundamental to the structure of the universe, or just some happy accident? I love that I get to ask these questions, and to be a part of finding the answer. And I get to do it with a bunch of interesting people from around the world. It also means a fair bit of travel. My favorite place to go is whatever new place I am heading to next.
Daniel Cherdack
University of Houston
United StatesMichigan State UniversityDaniel DouglasUnited StatesMichigan State UniversityDaniel DouglasI've been cycling for several years now, but I started getting more serious about it this year. I rode my first metric century and it was a lot of fun. It takes my mind off of work and it lets me get outside and explore my surroundings. Plus, it's just plain fun to find a nice hill and go really, really fast. I also like to do my own maintenance when I can. Maybe that's because it's a relatively simple machine, so I can make a lot more headway working on it than I can on a neutrino detector. For DUNE, I’m working on DUNE-PRISM. The idea is to build a detector close to the neutrino source at Fermilab that can move, which means we can put it in different places relative to the neutrino beam. This lets us examine different things about the beam passing through it, and helps us deal with some of the uncertainties we have in our models of neutrinos interacting with atoms. I am really happy to have the opportunity to contribute in my small way to such an ambitious experiment. My selfish goal is to learn something that no one has ever learned before. Then I'll share it with my collaborators, of course!
Daniel Douglas
Michigan State University
United KingdomUniversity of BristolDavid CussansUnited KingdomUniversity of BristolDavid CussansEven as a child I would take things to pieces to see how they worked, or to try to fix them. I still do so today, although when I tried to repair a heating system recently it ended up like The Poseidon Adventure. At the moment I’m the project engineer for UK activities on the data acquisition system for DUNE. Big, long-time-scale stuff. It’s a fun time to be involved with DUNE, since we’re kicking around ideas of how to make the system work. However, my first and enduring love in physics is small-scale detector and readout development. It is a great feeling when you have taken a prototype to a test facility and it starts to work. This always seems to happen at about 3 a.m. on the last day of your time-slot on the beam-line. So, it's a mix of sleep deprivation and euphoria. And it’s possible the euphoria comes from sleep deprivation.
David Cussans
University of Bristol
United StatesValley City State UniversityDavid DeMuthUnited StatesValley City State UniversityDavid DeMuthI was good at math and didn’t want to be an actuary, so quantum mechanics seemed like the next best thing. I got into physics and became a professor, but I’ve worked in theatre as a technician, rigger, and technical director. There’s some overlap between theater, or concerts, and physics. The thing about a concert is the trucks show up at 7:30, you have four hours to build, there are 25 people with different roles, and sometimes there isn’t even a stage, so they build it. It’s all very timed and orchestrated. With physics, we have these proposals and all this manpower that has to be fully coordinated, and you’re trying to build things and innovate solutions. You don’t buy particle detectors off the shelf at a store. And then? It’s showtime.
David DeMuth
Valley City State University
United StatesSouth Dakota School of Mines and TechnologyDavid MartinezUnited StatesSouth Dakota School of Mines and TechnologyDavid MartinezI am from Colombia and love to dance salsa. It’s a good break from physics that lets my brain relax. I have been studying the amazing neutrino for 10 years and was involved as the Young DUNE co-spokesperson liaison, connecting the spokespeople with early career scientists. I had this great chance to help with different tutorials we do within the collaboration to familiarize new collaborators with the software and show them the first steps to take, because when you arrive on a new project, it’s very challenging to begin from scratch and is nice to have some help starting up. I’m also interested in outreach activities and increasing access to math and science for high school students and the general public. I like to show them the amazing fruits of science. It is awesome to find how interested people are in science once you find a good way to communicate the results of the scientific world to them. And for several years, I’ve been involved in the organization of activities with low-resource kids when I go back to Colombia at Christmas.
David Martinez
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
BrazilUniversity of CampinasDavid Vanegas ForeroBrazilUniversity of CampinasDavid Vanegas ForeroMost of my colleagues do not know that when I was a teenager, I used to practice freestyle BMX. Many of my afternoons after school were spent on a bike. I learned a lot by assembling and tweaking my bike, and most of the places I know in my home city, Bogotá, I know them by bike. When I finished high school, I decided to try electronics engineering, but I couldn’t enter the college I wanted. The father of a friend of mine told me to enroll in physics, thinking I could take basic courses and change my focus later on. However, after starting physics classes, I decided not only to stay but also to enroll in theoretical physics. It’s one of the life-changing decisions I have made! That was 15 years ago. Now I work on phenomenology, which tries to connect what theorists predict with what experimentalists can measure.
David Vanegas Forero
University of Campinas
United StatesSyracuse UniversityDenver WhittingtonUnited StatesSyracuse UniversityDenver WhittingtonI enjoy working on challenging things. That’s why physics was my favorite back in high school and undergrad; no other subject is quite like it. And that’s what I enjoy most about my work on DUNE as well. I work on the photon detection system, and there are lots of subtleties when operating such a system in liquid argon at minus 300 degrees Fahrenheit. You need to find creative solutions to surprising challenges. I also appreciate the variety of experiences my path in physics has offered. For instance, I had the opportunity to live abroad while doing research at CERN during graduate school. Having grown up in central Indiana it was a bit of culture shock but a great experience. I particularly loved the culinary adventures in Europe. Now I’m a recently-hired faculty at Syracuse University and I'm sharing new adventures with my wife and our 2-year-old daughter.
Denver Whittington
Syracuse University
ParaguayNational University of AsunciónDerlis O. GregorParaguayNational University of AsunciónDerlis O. GregorI am a nature lover. I like to totally disconnect, make a delicious BBQ and enjoy the moment with family and friends. In those moments of disconnection, new ideas and projects flow. I’ve always liked to create, solve problems, and fix things. When I was about 5 years old, I spent a lot of time with my brother disassembling toys with motors to build other toys. We used old cars and created airplanes or helicopters. My father taught us about basic mechanics, electricity, and plumbing. Those experiences forged who I was and guided me toward becoming an engineer. It fills me with satisfaction to now be working on this leading-edge, international experiment.
Derlis O. Gregor
National University of Asunción
ColombiaUniversity of Antonio NariñoDeywis Moreno LopezColombiaUniversity of Antonio NariñoDeywis Moreno LopezI became a physicist because, for me, physics has the capacity to connect with any other branch of knowledge. DUNE has given me the opportunity to explore neutrino physics, a very exciting branch of science with a high probability of answering some of the fundamental questions of our time. And this modern way of doing science often requires large, international collaborations. I enjoy working closely with other colleagues from Latin America, but this experiment has also created the opportunity to share experiences with people coming together from all around the globe. I have a daughter named Sofia, and people believe that she has that name as a tribute to philosophy - which comes from ‘philosophia,’ the love of wisdom - because my wife and I are both scientists. We actually chose it because we thought it was an international name that was easy to speak and write in any language.
Deywis Moreno Lopez
University of Antonio Nariño
United StatesBrookhaven National LaboratoryElizabeth WorcesterUnited StatesBrookhaven National LaboratoryElizabeth WorcesterAs the deputy physics coordinator for DUNE, I am always learning new things and have such a wide variety of day-to-day work. Sometimes I spend all day in the lab trying to make electronics work in liquid nitrogen, another day I will be writing analysis code, another day I will be talking to people explaining how our experiment works and why it is exciting. I feel extremely lucky to be part of an international collaboration that gives me a good reason to visit places that not everyone gets to see, like the experimental area a mile underground at Sanford Lab. Most recently and notoriously, I went to a Guns N’ Roses concert in Berlin the night before my DUNE talk at Neutrino 2018. I think almost everyone who has ever had a conversation with me knows this, but I have been a huge fan of Slash since I was 13 years old. I see him in concert as often as possible.
Elizabeth Worcester
Brookhaven National Laboratory
United StatesDuke UniversityErin ConleyUnited StatesDuke UniversityErin ConleyAt my first major DUNE talk, it was so scary. I was presenting to 30 or 40 people — literal experts in the field. I was about to start my second year of grad school. I wanted to make my working group proud, and I wanted to highlight my area of physics because it's important. I had two days to prepare. My advisor was very excited about it, and I was just terrified. It was a daunting moment when I first stood in front of the crowd, and it seemed no words came out for the first 10 seconds. I eventually said, 'Hi. My name is Erin.' It took a long time to get that first 'hello' out. But I made it through. I'd like to think I'm stronger because of it. Now I'm on the collaboration working on studies to prepare the DUNE detector for the moment that a supernova shows up and lots of neutrinos come out of it. I love working for DUNE — I love working with people on various problems and projects, the travel opportunities, and the exposure that comes with it. I enjoy the questions we're asking and seeing the way we answer them. I feel grateful and fortunate. What a life — it feels like a dream.
Erin Conley
Duke University
United StatesColumbia UniversityGeorgia KaragiorgiUnited StatesColumbia UniversityGeorgia KaragiorgiI collect old stamps. I look for old stamp albums, postcards, or mailed envelopes at flea markets, and then go through the stamps and try to find out more about them. I’m totally an amateur at this. But there’s something about a tiny piece of paper that might hide so much behind it that really fascinates me. I feel the same way about particles—seemingly insignificant or replaceable, but they represent so much about nature. My job on DUNE is to make sure that we design and build a system that can handle the several terabytes of data that the DUNE far detector will be spewing out every second, nonstop, for about a decade. This is an enormous amount of data, and we need to reduce it by a factor of 10,000 before we can store and analyze it. Our systems need to make quick decisions for getting rid of as much of it as possible and as soon as possible, but without throwing out any potentially useful physics signals. DUNE is an experiment built for discovery, so it is absolutely critical that we don’t accidentally throw away what could otherwise be a discovery of an extremely rare physics process in our detector. You need an incredibly efficient and powerful system to be able to do that.
Georgia Karagiorgi
Columbia University
United StatesSLAC National Accelerator LaboratoryGianluca PetrilloUnited StatesSLAC National Accelerator LaboratoryGianluca PetrilloAccording to a composition I wrote in elementary school that I rediscovered decades later, my aspiration for life was to sell vegetables. Clearly, that changed. By 14, I was captivated by elementary particles and their mix of simplicity and complexity – and their implied promise that understanding them would provide the comprehensive explanation. I had the idea that the ultimate truth does exist, and the path to it unfolds through them. I don’t believe in ultimate truths any more, but the charm is still there. I enjoy working on DUNE because it gives me the feeling that our collective achievements will be foundation of imperishable knowledge.
Gianluca Petrillo
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
BrazilFederal University of AlfenasGustavo ValdiviessoBrazilFederal University of AlfenasGustavo ValdiviessoI collect video game consoles from the '70s and '80s. I was always fascinated by the hardware that was used by early video game companies. I try to understand how these early games were programmed and the limitations of the machine, and try to get in the mindset of the programmers of the time. I think today we overlook the potential of our machines because we are so used to just clicking on stuff without realizing what is behind it. For me, it’s not like that. I want to know the machine and the system. I want to see the pixels of the game I’m playing. The more bleeps the music makes, the better. It’s a hobby, but it gives me insight into what I do every day. I come from a simulation background, but I came to Fermilab as an intensity frontier fellow to enhance my skills working on hardware and instrumentation. I’m changing the focus of my research so I can be more hands-on when the time comes for DUNE. This allows me to go back to Brazil and work on the formation of my next generation of students that will inherit this expertise and be useful for DUNE and come here to Fermilab for similar tasks.
Gustavo Valdiviesso
Federal University of Alfenas
United StatesOregon State UniversityHeidi SchellmanUnited StatesOregon State UniversityHeidi SchellmanWhat I like the most is that DUNE is a chance to get the band back together again. Twenty years ago, we were trying to put computing together for Run 2 of the Tevatron, and Fermilab had just hired a bunch of smart, great young people as programmers. I hate to say this, but they’re somewhat older now. Despite their ability to go off and make more money from Google, somehow DUNE has lucked into getting many of those same people. We’ve done one big project together, and now we’re doing it again. It’s very comfortable knowing the capabilities of the people you are working with and knowing they are good.
Heidi Schellman
Oregon State University
SwitzerlandUniversity of BernIgor KresloSwitzerlandUniversity of BernIgor KresloI remember my father telling me a story about when I was hitting a fridge with a hammer as a child. He asked what I was doing, and I said I was repairing it. I used to disassemble all the household devices, such as irons, the TV, the fridge, to see what was inside – and never put them back together. I was lucky I didn’t have a problem of choice – I knew what I wanted to do from an early age. I liked doing things with my hands. There are a lot of engineers working on DUNE; you’re always communicating with other civil, electronic, and other engineers. Even though I’m leading a small team of about 10 now, I still have time to do things myself, like making electronics designs and layouts, or programming FPGAs. It’s still the same passion I had when I was younger: to learn what the world is made of.
Igor Kreslo
University of Bern
United StatesUniversity of Texas at ArlingtonJae YuUnited StatesUniversity of Texas at ArlingtonJae YuI was a really bad student in math and in physics. I hated physics. But in the early '70s, the oil embargo impacted Korea very much because the country didn’t have any oil at all. So I wanted to do something related to energy. I didn’t know what, but I wanted to be working on something that would mean Korea didn’t have to rely on someone else. My senior year of high school my homeroom teacher was a physics teacher. In one class I learned about radioactive decays, and got really interested in the phenomenon. Something coming out of nothing. It also got me interested in mathematics. In one year I was able to turn into a 'physics guy.' All my teachers had given up on me but later on said I can make it. Well, I passed the 2 exams to get into college as a physics major. Ever since then I stayed in physics. I have also been very active in promoting cooperation between the US and Korea on science. I have served as the president of the Association of Korean Physicists in America (AKPA) and the Korean-American Scientists and Engineers Association (KSEA), and recently organized a US-Korea conference with 1,500 participants.
Jae Yu
University of Texas at Arlington
United StatesSouth Dakota School of Mines and TechnologyJames HaistonUnited StatesSouth Dakota School of Mines and TechnologyJames HaistonI have always wanted to be a physicist, and I finally got the opportunity late in life. I went into the Navy after high school, I went to school for music (and didn’t finish the degree), and I’ve done a series of machining jobs, which prepared me for the work I am doing now. My degrees are in computer science and electrical engineering, and when I was finishing up my masters, the physics Ph.D. program opened up at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and it was like fate. My area of study will be the calibration source for the DUNE far detector. I still play guitar and paint, but as enjoyable as those things might be, I can’t depend on them. My favorite thing about working on DUNE is the people I meet from all over the world. If I had a choice between coming to Fermilab and going to Disneyland, I’d pick Fermilab every time.
James Haiston
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
Czech RepublicInstitute of Physics of the Czech Academy of SciencesJaroslav ZalesakCzech RepublicInstitute of Physics of the Czech Academy of SciencesJaroslav ZalesakWhen I visited the French-Swiss border near Geneva for the first time in 2002, it was not to visit the CERN laboratory but to climb Mont Blanc. When we reached the summit it was a sunset. Little did I know at that time that I would later gaze at the summit while sitting in the CERN cafeteria, having coffee after a long day of working on one of the DUNE prototype detectors. Or that I would see the Mont Blanc when I missed the last CERN shuttle from the Prevessin to the Meyrin site and I had to walk instead. Working on the construction of the DUNE prototype detectors has been very rewarding because I like building and creating things from scratch. But what I enjoy the most about DUNE is the people. They are fun to work with. And then there are my two boys at home. They are the best and most challenging experiment of my life! The results are often unpredictable and unique as they manage to surprise me again and again.
Jaroslav Zalesak
Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences
United StatesSouth Dakota School of Mines and TechnologyJason StockUnited StatesSouth Dakota School of Mines and TechnologyJason StockI was 'That kid' in class. I was extremely loud. I was extremely eager. And I had way too many questions. Physics was a field that was generally perceived as hard, and I thought I might as well try it. Physics was hard for me, so I stayed. It’s very titillating - the frustration and tedium and the difficulty are all there and occupy a greater percentage of your time than the success. But the success is so deeply satisfying, it’s a drug. I need to fill my smug factor, to do something new. I need to feel like what I’m doing is challenging. I like doing things that people haven’t seen before and doing things that people haven’t done. The thing I like about working on DUNE is that it’s an exercise in being better. The scope of everything we’re doing requires us to figure out how to be even better than the experts. The problems I have solved have led into new and interesting problems. Each step is exciting and interesting. They’re all part of the same big picture.
Jason Stock
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
United StatesWilliam & MaryJeff NelsonUnited StatesWilliam & MaryJeff NelsonFor me the highlight of my time as a physicist was managing the installation of the MINOS detector up in the Soudan mine in Minnesota. That was the most intense part of my career but in many ways the most rewarding. We were the people taking all of the parts from everyone around the world and getting them down there, putting it together, doing the labor, making sure everything worked right. It was a lot of work trying to figure out how not to waste time. The logistics are complicated when you’re 2,341 feet underground. The camaraderie of the people, the feeling that we were making progress, it all went well. I lived this weird lifestyle for three years where I was working in Illinois for Fermilab but the site was up north in Soudan and my wife stayed in Minneapolis and I did this three-point commute. It was intense. For DUNE I’m helping figure out a way to build a system that creates a 180,000-volt electric field in a large volume, in a way that it can be brought down a mine shaft. We’re at the time where there’s still room for good ideas, you get to play with toys and do things on a rapid time cycle. That’s a lot of fun.
Jeff Nelson
William & Mary
United StatesFermilabJen RaafUnited StatesFermilabJen RaafI love knowing how things work, and why things are the way they are. In my younger days, I disassembled various items to see how they worked. And when I figured out that particle physics is a way to disassemble the universe in order to probe some of the most intriguing yet-to-be-answered questions, of course I decided that was the path for me! The first time I had the opportunity to work inside the open Super-Kamiokande neutrino detector in Japan was amazing. The pictures don’t do it justice. It has the feel of some kind of cathedral when you’re standing at the bottom of a 130-foot-tall structure whose walls, floor, and ceiling are beautifully lined with photo sensors that look like golden orbs.
Jen Raaf
United StatesUniversity of California, IrvineJianming BianUnited StatesUniversity of California, IrvineJianming BianI like chess. I think it's good training for your brain. It makes you concentrate, and I like the feeling that you're using your skills and brain to win. It also helps me to prepare to lose, because you cannot always win, right? So, you know what failure looks like and then you're prepared for it. I think that's good for both life and research. For example, when you're looking for new particles, you never know what's going to happen. You may write a very traditional paper, or maybe you discover something new. So, you've got to prepare. You use your knowledge to design your analysis, similar to how you try to win the chess game. You give the effort 100 percent and if you win, you're happy, but if you lose, you've got to be prepared for it and move on. I think that's the best thing I take from chess.
Jianming Bian
University of California, Irvine
BrazilFederal University of Rio de JaneiroJoão Torres de Mello NetoBrazilFederal University of Rio de JaneiroJoão Torres de Mello NetoI was born in a very small village in the Amazon forest named Cruzeiro do Sul. When I was a boy, I would enjoy hearing the stories about the stars my grandmother used to tell, and together we would watch the artificial satellites passing over our village. There was no electric light, and the sky was wonderful. That drove me to science. I work on event simulation for DUNE, and it is nice to be on the forefront of particle physics and to participate in such an ambitious project. A few years ago, I wrote a play, 'Imagine this stage that warps,' that talks about connections of the human being with the universe, physics, astronomy, anguishes in late night, some anecdotes about my life in Amazon, etc. It is an improbable recipe, but it seems to have worked. It ran for twelve weeks in one of the best-known theaters in Rio, two seasons elsewhere, and was nominated for important theater prizes in Brazil. I had a lot of fun with that project.
João Torres de Mello Neto
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
IndiaJawaharlal Nehru UniversityJogesh RoutIndiaJawaharlal Nehru UniversityJogesh RoutI grew up in a small village, Gadadharpur, Cuttack, in India. I might be the first person from my village to get a Ph.D., thanks to the support of my family and especially my elder brother, Manguli Rout. They always encouraged me, and at every step of my education they told me to aim higher. Now I am working on my Ph.D., and I even got to spend four months in America, at Fermilab, to work with some great people and do part of my Ph.D. research. My work for DUNE focuses on beam optimization techniques. I use simulations to study different horn and target systems to create the best particle beam that will allow us to get the best, most precise neutrino measurements with the DUNE detectors. When I don’t work on physics, I love to spend time with friends and listen to music.
Jogesh Rout
Jawaharlal Nehru University
United StatesFermilabJolie MacierUnited StatesFermilabJolie MacierI enjoy running. When I travel I try to make sure that I get out and run in new places. It gives me a chance to pause and absorb my surroundings by getting around on my two feet, as opposed to just driving through. Yes, it’s physical, but it’s also an exploration, which of course is at the base is what DUNE is all about. Exploration is pretty embedded in my other hobbies too. Snowshoeing is on my list of fun things to do in the winter. Before, snowshoes looked kind of like tennis rackets for your feet, but they’re much more advanced now. They’re basically big contraptions, you buckle your feet in, and then you can tromp around in a few inches of snow. The idea is that you pretty much stay on the surface, cause the snow shoes are so wide it’s distributing your weight. I’m sure there’s a more in-depth physics explanation that we can rely on one of our other collaboration members for...
Jolie Macier
ParaguayNational University of AsuncionJorge MolinaParaguayNational University of AsuncionJorge MolinaI think one of the main reasons I study physics is philosophy. I think that physics and science can give you an answer about how things work, how the universe evolved, how the Big Bang happened. But it won’t tell you the main reason of why we are here and if there’s a meaning. Those and other questions belong to the realm of philosophy. But I couldn’t see myself doing any other job than being a physicist. For DUNE, I work on the photosensors, electronics, and readout sections of the detector. We are at the edge of this technology, and it’s a big challenge, but a joy. I know we won’t find answers to all the questions of the universe, but the process of answering a little amount of one or two questions is okay.
Jorge Molina
National University of Asuncion
United StatesUniversity of PennsylvaniaJosh KleinUnited StatesUniversity of PennsylvaniaJosh KleinI started off wanting to be an astronomer. Of course it was because of the cool pictures, but also because astronomy was all about discovering the unknown. In grad school I decided to change to physics, since it felt like more of a broader thing, although I’m on the fence and I still do some astronomy. I work on the data acquisition trigger for the DUNE detector and its prototypes, and I enjoy working on an experiment of the scale and technical challenge that this one presents. I worked on the SNO experiment at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory underground in Canada, and I remember the first time we saw a muon neutrino in the detector. That was very satisfying. It was like when you’re climbing a mountain, that was the point where you stop before you hit the top, you turn around and look, you take a break. But you know you have a lot of climbing left to do.
Josh Klein
University of Pennsylvania
ParaguayNational University of AsunciónJuan Manuel De Egea JuvinelParaguayNational University of AsunciónJuan Manuel De Egea JuvinelPeople say that I am extremely precise, but I like to do things well. When I work on a project, I take the time to get everything done in the best possible way, and I hope that the people who work with me will do the same. I always liked to build things. When I was a kid, I played with LEGO toys. I spent a lot of time building radio control cars and planes (and sometimes I still do). After finishing high school, I decided to study civil engineering. I liked the mechanical computational design of structures and mechanisms, and that's why I did a post degree in Numerical Methods in Engineering. I learned the numerical techniques and programming languages with which I could develop my skills in mechanics. And now I apply it to DUNE. It is wonderful to be part of an experiment of this magnitude, and to be engaged with the best specialists in the world in their respective areas of knowledge.
Juan Manuel De Egea Juvinel
National University of Asunción
United StatesSouth Dakota School of Mines and TechnologyJuergen ReichenbacherUnited StatesSouth Dakota School of Mines and TechnologyJuergen ReichenbacherI knew early on that I wanted to be a physicist. The space program had a big influence on me, and the space shuttle. Outer space is always something I was fascinated with as a kid. It was a question of becoming an astronaut or a physicist. As I grew older, I didn’t think it was a smart idea to become an astronaut, sitting on a big pile of explosives and being very trusting. So I became a physicist. But I also have a degree in film-making, and I play the piano. I made 16mm films for fun. Seeing every frame, going back and forth, synchronizing sound – it all involved a lot of love for detail, being very precise, and detailed planning and logistics so that things can get done when you want them to get done. If I didn’t enjoy things like that, I wouldn’t enjoy a career in physics. You could have an easier life. It only makes sense if you are interested in doing it.
Juergen Reichenbacher
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
United KingdomUniversity of ManchesterJustin EvansUnited KingdomUniversity of ManchesterJustin EvansI help build anode planes for the DUNE neutrino detector, and I'm getting ready to assemble a factory where we can build 150 of these planes — 6-by-2.5-meter planes of wire. It will probably take us over a year to put the factory together and another four or five years to put the planes together. DUNE is such a big project with so many people from around the world, and it takes that many people to actually discover something new. I'm really enjoying the fact that neutrino physics has become properly international with DUNE. It's the biggest collaboration on neutrino physics, and that's an exciting thing to be a part of. Also, you travel a lot and meet a lot of people, and you build up a lot of memories very quickly. When I worked on the MINOS experiment for my PhD, every year we would travel to Minnesota, where the MINOS detector operated. We would have barbecues by the lake, organized by Bill Miller, one of the collaborators. That was quite an experience for a British grad student who had never been to America before. We'd do some kayaking in the evening, sit by the bonfire, watch the fireflies come out. We don't have fireflies in Britain, and you don't believe they really exist until you wander off into a dark Minnesota wood and see the air flashing.
Justin Evans
University of Manchester
United StatesLouisiana State UniversityJustin HugonUnited StatesLouisiana State UniversityJustin HugonSince I was a child I've always been interested in how the world works and excited by big pieces of technology. I'm really happy I get to work on DUNE where we use huge particle accelerators and huge underground detectors to try to better understand how the world works. In my free time, I like to play board games like Settlers of Catan and have been to a racecar school. I think the way games teach us to solve problems strategically and work with others helped me in my career, and racecars are another high energy machine to enjoy using. A surprising thing about doing science in DUNE is how you get to meet people from all over the world. I've greatly enjoyed learning how many of my collaborators' experiences differ from mine, but how we all have the common goal of using science to understand our world better.
Justin Hugon
Louisiana State University
United StatesIowa State UniversityKarl WarburtonUnited StatesIowa State UniversityKarl WarburtonIn the UK, when you’re 16, you choose 4 subjects to study for the next two years before choosing what you study at university. When I was 16, I didn’t choose physics. My physics teacher at the time was surprised that I hadn’t chosen physics and so found me in the hall and asked me to go to her class. She told me that if I enjoyed it then she would have the subject change form at the end of lesson. I enjoyed it so much that I ended up taking physics at university, and I’m so glad that I did. I love the planning stage of an experiment like DUNE, where you get to let your brain loose when figuring this stuff out. I’ve also met great people and had amazing experiences. One time my friends and I drove to a DUNE meeting in Rapid City, South Dakota. After we left, one of our other friends flight plans got changed and so we ended up driving 3 hours out of our way to Minneapolis and had an impromptu night out. The next day we drove to the Badlands, which are just amazing, by the way. That road trip is one of my favorite memories.
Karl Warburton
Iowa State University
United StatesDuke UniversityKate ScholbergUnited StatesDuke UniversityKate ScholbergI love fossils. I actually have trilobite jewelry. As a kid I was always fascinated by the idea of unimaginably large scales of time and in the unifying principles that weave through them, like evolution. In middle school I took chemistry and was engrossed by the concepts of energy, atoms, and these foundations for how the world works. In physics, I like working out solutions for the interesting technical problems that arise from technology such as DUNE’s huge liquid argon detectors. I used to work on Super-K, a neutrino observatory that had an accident resulting in many large, expensive instruments called photomultipliers imploding. Despite this, I was inspired by the way the experiment’s leader responded — he encouraged us not to crumble in the face of the accident and we recovered everything within a year. I’ve learned that taking risks and moving forward even when things go wrong is crucial. I take on this attitude while I’m working on DUNE.
Kate Scholberg
Duke University
United StatesFermilabKen HernerUnited StatesFermilabKen HernerDUNE is pretty young in its life cycle, so that was kind of a chance for me to get in early on computing, and make sure we have good systems in place, as opposed to ignoring it until it gets close to real data taking. My computing work for DUNE reminds me in a way of my home gardening because there’s work to be done from the start – but a little work early on means a lot less work later. The previous home owners had a swimming pool, which they took out before we bought. We decided to plant a garden there instead of staring at a bare patch of dirt. We have zucchini, cauliflower, then we’ve got tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers... We eat as much of it as we can, until it goes bad, or we run out. We actually had to give some of it away last year because we grew too much!
Ken Herner
United StatesMichigan State UniversityKendall MahnUnited StatesMichigan State UniversityKendall MahnI wasn't always interested in physics. I have scars from vultures. I used to work at a zoo, with birds of prey and reptile exhibits. So I have pictures of me holding an eagle. And they only weigh like 10 pounds, but all on your arms. I ended up in physics because I like working with people. It’s amazing that we can sustain a collaboration across so many continents and institutions, reinforced by contact at in-person meetings. The people are a lot of fun, and quirky, and interesting, and you get really transformative ideas that come out of them. When you’re thinking about getting an electric field uniformly across this enormous detector, filled with huge amounts of liquid at cryogenic temperatures, it honestly sounds insane. This is a chance to bring really cool ideas to fruition, and to come up with solutions and make things work.
Kendall Mahn
Michigan State University
South KoreaKorea Institute of Science and Technology InformationKihyeon ChoSouth KoreaKorea Institute of Science and Technology InformationKihyeon ChoPhysics is everything to me. My personality is quiet and calm, but that is just appearance. I have a big fever for physics. I have been interested in the universe since I was very young, growing up in Korea. When I was young, I wanted to be a particle physicist to study theory and experiment using computing. I first studied theory, but I wanted to do all of them. Now I work in the supercomputing center in Korea, using deep learning software to get the best images from the DUNE detector. But my favorite work I am doing is in e-science for high energy physics, which is intended to unify theory, experiment and computing. So I am doing all three!
Kihyeon Cho
Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information
United StatesFermilabKirsty DuffyUnited StatesFermilabKirsty DuffyI think doing what you’re interested in is always more important than doing what you think you should do. I wasn’t from a kid like, ‘I am going to be a physicist.’ I thought all that physics stuff was very interesting, but that I would grow out of it and get a proper job. I thought that I should be a lawyer or a doctor because those were considered ‘good jobs.’ I’m kind of squeamish, so doctor was out and so I thought, ‘Well, I guess I’ll go to University and do Law.’ I went to a university fair and spoke with a Lawyer who told me to do something I liked for undergrad, and then follow law after that. So, I came home and decided I would do physics. I thought I would leave after my undergrad to go pursue law and get a proper job. But, I didn’t – I stayed for my masters… and then my PhD. So, I did the kind of standard way into physics, which I think makes me seem a lot more certain than I ever was. But I think at some point I realized that I was basically fighting against myself, trying to talk myself out of physics.
Kirsty Duffy
United StatesFermilabLaura FieldsUnited StatesFermilabLaura FieldsI grew up in Arkansas and spent a lot of time with my grandparents, who were awesome people but not at all science oriented. They totally did not support my being a physicist. My grandfather accused me of being a ‘permanent student,’ which in his mind was right up there with being a felon. During my freshman year of college, one of my physics professors called me up and said ‘I really think you should be a physics major.’ I tried it out and obviously really liked it. While this might not be the most awe-inspiring physicist origin story, it is a good example of how a little encouragement of young people can have a big impact on their future. Much of my career has involved using experiments designed and built by others, so being involved in DUNE now means being able to help design an experiment that will eventually be used by my children's generation and make a lot of exciting measurements.
Laura Fields
United StatesFermilabLeo BellantoniUnited StatesFermilabLeo BellantoniI remember a famous musician, Paul Simon, once saying something along the lines of, ‘When I’m running, mostly what I think about is how much further I have to go, and when can I stop.’ Of course, in my case, running is an exaggeration. I’m not fast enough to call it running. Although this year, my wife signed me up for a half-marathon, so I’m training. 50/50 odds I’ll die before I finish. For DUNE, I am working on simulation of the beamline. My long-term goal is to try to have a better knowledge of the beam of the neutrinos coming into the experiment than we had in the previous generations of beamlines. So, you pretend – simulate – some particle is going through. For every little bit that it moves, there’s a certain chance it’ll maybe knock off a bunch of electrons, there’s a certain chance it’ll lose this or that much energy. By the end, it has some amount of energy and it’s going in such and such direction. And so you simulate it again and again and get some distribution probability that it exits with some energy in a certain direction. This is not the first neutrino beamline we’ve built, but I say each new one should be better than the last one.
Leo Bellantoni
United KingdomUniversity College LondonLinda CremonesiUnited KingdomUniversity College LondonLinda CremonesiI’ve touched all the continents on Earth. Europe, North America, Asia, Oceania, and Antarctica I went to through physics, whereas Africa and South America were holidays. I have a US service medal for service in Antarctica, which I received while working on ANITA, an experiment based in Antarctica that looks for ultra-high-energy neutrinos. I now work on two neutrino experiments at Fermilab, NOvA and DUNE. I ended up in neutrino physics randomly. I’m Italian but moved to the UK almost 10 years ago, during my final year of undergraduate studies. When I had to choose my final year project, I saw there was one about neutrinos. At the time I didn’t know what neutrinos were. So I went on Wikipedia and looked it up, went to a meeting with the person who would become my supervisor, and thought it was all really cool. I have stuck with neutrinos since then.
Linda Cremonesi
University College London
United StatesSouth Dakota School of Mines and TechnologyLuke CorwinUnited StatesSouth Dakota School of Mines and TechnologyLuke CorwinI have been interested in science and looking up at the stars at night for as long as I can remember. My mom once bought me a book about constellations, and I read it so much and used it so often to look at the stars that I had to duct tape the binding back together. I narrowed down to physics in high school. Other sciences like biology and chemistry required a lot more memorization, and I’m not that good at memorizing. Physics also seemed to answer the most fundamental questions about physical reality. In college I gravitated toward particle physics rather quickly because it answers the most fundamental questions, even in physics. How did the universe begin? How does everything begin? Even now I’m part of building the DUNE experiment on a gigantic scale that really continues that theme. On a more metaphysical scale I think one of the reasons I’ve been called into science is to try to be a bridge between scientific and Christian communities because they are sometimes at odds with each other and I’m a member of both.
Luke Corwin
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
United StatesFermilabMarco VerzocchiUnited StatesFermilabMarco VerzocchiThe most important parts of the electronics for the readout of the DUNE single-phase detector are actually placed inside the liquid argon, hence the name 'Cold Electronics.' Once these detector components are placed in the liquid argon, they will not be accessible any more, and they have to survive for 20-30 years. I like that on DUNE I am doing something completely different from what I have done so far as a physicist. Until the end of last year I was working on CMS, which isn’t a neutrino experiment, but an experiment at a proton collider. There I was working on silicon detectors. Working on electronics now for DUNE is completely different. That's part of the game of being a physicist – changing completely what you do from time to time and learning new skills and new things.
Marco Verzocchi
United StatesUniversity of MinnesotaMarvin MarshakUnited StatesUniversity of MinnesotaMarvin MarshakOne has to wonder – I’m 72 years old, why am I running around building an experiment? I have friends, colleagues, who have retired at this kind of age, and I keep doing it because it’s fun. I’m getting to the age where one worries about one’s mortality, and what guarantees immortality is the influence one has on other people, particularly younger people – especially on my children and grandchildren, but also on many years of students, both undergraduate and graduate, that I’ve had the opportunity to interact with. With neutrinos, the physics comes in so slowly, and everyone is into 'blinded analysis,' where you have no idea how the data is coming in. There are a few 'box opening days' when you actually look at your results, but then the next box opening day won’t be for maybe two years. What do you do in the meantime besides count the days? Well, you get to work with fantastic people, and that happens every day, and that’s what keeps you going. I play racquetball for exercise, and generally I play against students. One of my criteria for not retiring is as long as I can beat some of the 18-year-olds, I figure I’m good for something.
Marvin Marshak
University of Minnesota
United StatesFermilabMike KirbyUnited StatesFermilabMike KirbyAfter six years at the Tevatron, spending countless numbers of hours trying to discover the Higgs Boson, I still remember staying up until 2 a.m. on July 4th, 2012. I had 20 friends over to my apartment, so we could all collectively watch the live stream of CERN’s announcement of the discovery of the Higgs. Even though they had 'scooped us,' it was still wonderful to have a bunch of colleagues who cheered on their competition. We all just loved the excitement of scientific discovery; whether it was CERN or Fermilab, we cared most about this incredible discovery and learning about it. Ego was set aside. One of the things that I love about DUNE is that it is such a large and long-term project, like the Tevatron and the LHC. We’ll answer very big questions that have come to the forefront of neutrino physics in the last 15 years, and it’s going to have real significance within the particle physics community. I think of it as neutrino science going big.
Mike Kirby
United StatesFermilabMohammed ElrafihUnited StatesFermilabMohammed ElrafihI started my career in project management in the oil and gas industry up in northern Canada. The winters above the Arctic Circle were extreme. The month of February, on average, would be around minus 40 degrees C without wind chill – the second you walked outside, you would feel the moisture in your nose crystalize. It was a different world, with maybe six hours of sunlight – but the summers were beautiful and sunny. Project controls is the same idea no matter what industry you work in, so it was easy to translate what I learned in the past to Fermilab: to build plans and schedules, analyze costs and estimates, measure performance and build reports. I’ve been working on LBNF/DUNE for a few years now, and I love that DUNE is a once-in-a-lifetime project – there’s no other project like it in the world! And I get to learn how they build neutrino detectors, which I never would have learned otherwise.
Mohammed Elrafih
United StatesIdaho State UniversityP. James NorrisUnited StatesIdaho State UniversityP. James NorrisI studied electrical engineering and worked in a patent office before I decided to go back to graduate school a year ago. My specialty was reviewing patents related to graphical user interfaces for smartphones and other devices. But after reading many fascinating articles about physics research in Scientific American and other magazines, I decided to get a degree in physics. Now it’s all about neutrinos. For DUNE I work on computational fluid dynamics to understand the transport of ions and electrons in argon, the liquid inside the DUNE detectors. It’s important to understand how the noise created by impurities in the argon will affect our measurements of neutrino interactions.
P. James Norris
Idaho State University
United StatesUniversity of PennsylvaniaRick Van BergUnited StatesUniversity of PennsylvaniaRick Van BergI spent the summer of 1968 three meters under the Aegean looking for archaeological remains. A team was getting together to do an underwater archaeology dig, and the organizer remembered I was a physicist who could help with pumps and the Bernoulli effect and silt movement. I thought that sounded interesting. I took a leave for a summer and spent it with a high pay of 30 drachmas a day, plus food. It was fun. For DUNE, I basically build - or try to build - instruments to do interesting measurements. The oscillatory nature of the neutrino, now that we have demonstrated that irrefutably, is one of the remaining clear puzzles that we have a chance of solving. It seems a grand challenge. And it is interesting science that covers a broad range. You can do other things with the DUNE detectors, beyond measuring how neutrinos change, like studying supernovae. I’d like to catch neutrinos from another supernova. That would be cute.
Rick Van Berg
University of Pennsylvania
United StatesHarvard UniversityRoxanne GuenetteUnited StatesHarvard UniversityRoxanne GuenetteI grew up in a town of 600 people in northern Quebec, next to a racetrack. My three brothers and I would race old cars along that track in the summer. As I grew up in the countryside where the skies are very clear, I was interested from a young age in the mysteries of the universe and in understanding how the world around us works. My family was first-generation and low-income, and I never imagined the job prospects I would have studying physics. Now I am the installation liaison for the anode plane assembly for the DUNE detector. That means I work with the teams building the components and with the installation teams to make sure the designs on both sides agree. Being a professor at Harvard and working on neutrino detectors was not something that I thought I could do. My family is very proud of me, though they don’t understand quite what it is that I do. When I go home I still race sometimes, but my brothers, having continued to race while I was studying neutrinos, have gotten way better than me and I can't really compete with them anymore.
Roxanne Guenette
Harvard University
United StatesUniversity College LondonSeb JonesUnited StatesUniversity College LondonSeb JonesMy passion is sports. I just ran a half-marathon in London and I also like playing lacrosse and going rock climbing in my free time. And I like working on DUNE. It’s a very stimulating environment. Every week I learn something new and it is this learning process that I enjoy the most. This summer I’ll be heading to CERN to work on the ProtoDUNE detectors. My research focuses on trying to put an accurate number on the uncertainty in the energy of the neutrinos in the far detector and then seeing how this affects our ability to measure key parameters. Before joining DUNE, I wrote my master’s thesis on the MicroBooNE experiment, which also utilizes liquid argon. But I have an interest in all of science, not just physics.
Seb Jones
University College London
United StatesUniversity of Tennessee, KnoxvilleSowjanya GollapinniUnited StatesUniversity of Tennessee, KnoxvilleSowjanya GollapinniI realized early on that there is great value in the scientific method not just for science but for everything we do in our lives. Asking the ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions and trying to find answers logically made me a stronger and confident person in all contexts but especially in fighting the cultural bias I faced at home and in society and building a better day-to-day life for myself. That was my main motivation to want to become a physicist. My 9-year old daughter thinks I am awesome and recently wrote a comic about me called ‘Adventures of a Super Mom,’ because she is amazed at how much I multi-task between family, travel, and career. She thinks I am the best mom and scientist in the world and wants to be like me when she grows up. I tend to see that her comic is not just about me but about all those women out there who are strong, independent, and powerful and have built successful careers despite the challenges they face.
Sowjanya Gollapinni
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
United KingdomUniversity of ManchesterStefan Söldner-RemboldUnited KingdomUniversity of ManchesterStefan Söldner-RemboldTo be one mile underground, I wouldn’t say it’s creepy – but it’s a little bit surreal. Going down the mineshaft to the 4850 foot level where the DUNE detector will be built is quite an experience. It makes you appreciate how challenging it will be to get this enormous detector down there, basically with a lift. And what we do now will influence how this will look in 20 years, and the experiment people will work with in 20 years, which is quite interesting. It’s fun, working with a wide range of different people on a project where you can still define how it looks at the end.
Stefan Söldner-Rembold
University of Manchester
United StatesFermilabTingjun YangUnited StatesFermilabTingjun YangI like to read detective novels because sometimes I feel my research is like solving a mystery. I feel that we can understand very fundamental things through physics, from the planets rotating to particles interacting with each other – that’s really amazing. When I went to Stanford to get my PhD in 2002, that was kind of the beginning of the neutrino era, when lots of interesting results were coming out of the neutrino experiments, so I became very interested. DUNE is the next generation of neutrino experiments. This detector has a much higher resolution, compared with previous detectors, so it can see the real details of the neutrino interactions, which we can learn a lot from. The technology is just amazing.
Tingjun Yang
United StatesFermilabVaia PapadimitriouUnited StatesFermilabVaia PapadimitriouDuring college and at the beginning of my graduate studies, I was interested in solid-state physics, which focused more on how materials worked and how we could use their properties to build powerful devices. For my Ph.D. thesis, I switched to particle physics, which is fundamental physics. It’s more philosophical in that we are trying to understand the building blocks of matter, the forces in nature, how the world was created, and why things happen the way they do. In the course of studying that, we are practically exploring and advancing many other areas. For example, the World Wide Web and MRI machines started in particle physics. DUNE is amazing because we can study many neutrino oscillation-related aspects all in the same experiment. We don’t have to depend on other experiments. We can study the neutrino mass ordering, we can study CP violation, we can study the three-flavor neutrino oscillation paradigm – all in one.
Vaia Papadimitriou
United StatesKansas State UniversityVaruna MeddageUnited StatesKansas State UniversityVaruna MeddageI don’t think my colleagues would guess this about me, but I am actually a nature-lover. I love hiking. When I went to the DUNE collaboration last year at CERN in Switzerland, I went hiking in the Alps, and it was so beautiful. I also play sports a lot. My favorite is cricket. I was on a team back home in Sri Lanka, but it’s not very popular in the United States, so I definitely miss it. I enjoy math, and as a kid, I originally wanted to be a mathematician. But at university I learned more about physics and found that it was the perfect combination of math and science. Another thing I like about physics, and DUNE, is using novel technologies. I have the opportunity to observe and solve problems with technology that no one else has used before.
Varuna Meddage
Kansas State University