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 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
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 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 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 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
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
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
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
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
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 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 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
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 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 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 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 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