Degree Date: December, 2019
Danielle Norcini's picture
Danielle Norcini
Karsten Heeger
KICP and Grainger Fellow

University of Chicago

A search for eV-scale sterile neutrinos and precision measurement of the U-235 antineutrino spectrum with the PROSPECT experiment
Reactor experiments have been devoted to establishing the properties of the weakly-interacting neutrino. Recent neutrino oscillation experiments at low-enriched uranium (LEU) reactors suggest a disagreement between the observed electron antineutrino flux and energy spectrum when compared to leading model predictions. The ~6% flux deficit, known as the Reactor Antineutrino Anomaly, measured by detectors with baselines <500 m can be explained by the addition of a beyond-the-Standard-Model... more
Susan Pratt's picture
Susan Pratt
Simon Mochrie
Law School Student

Georgetown University

Development and implementation of a reversibly-interacting TRAP-peptide pair as a live-cell imaging strategy
The need to study proteins in living cells to acquire accurate information pertaining to their spatiotemporal dynamics drives the development and improvement of tools for visualization. Unfortunately, there does not exist a 'one size fits all' imaging strategy, leading to the continuous pursuit of new labeling and optical methods, with the goal of developing more widely applicable approaches that minimally disrupt the biological systems studied. Tetratricopeptide repeat affinity... more
Jared Rovny's picture
Jared Rovny
Sean Barrett
Princeton Quantum Institute Postdoctoral Fellow

Princeton University

New NMR Applications and Methods: Discrete Time Crystalline Signatures and Accelerated Acquisition using Iterated Maps
This thesis describes two distinct research endeavors linked by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) experiments. One is related to the nascent study of discrete time crystals (DTCs) in driven quantum systems. In this thesis I describe the first NMR studies of DTC signatures in solids, characterizing the DTC signatures we observed in a crystal of ammonium dihydrogen phosphate, where we addressed nuclear spins of phosphorus 31P and hydrogen 1H. I also describe the methods we used to demonstrate... more
Tong Shu's picture
Tong Shu
James Rothman
Postdoctoral Associate

Institute of System Genetics in NYU School of Medicine

Molecular Mechanisms of Regulated SNARE Assembly Revealed by Single-Molecule Force Spectroscopy
Neurons in the brain communicate with each other by release of neurotransmitters at synaptic junctions. Neurotransmitter release is mediated by three membrane-anchored SNARE proteins (soluble N-ethylmaleimide sensitive factor attachment protein receptors) and various regulatory proteins, including Munc13-1, Munc18-1, Synaptotagmin, complexin, NSF (N-ethylmaleimide sensitive factor) and SNAP (soluble NSF attachment protein). By forming proper SNARE complex, SNARE proteins couple their folding... more
Clarke Smith's picture
Clarke Smith
Michel Devoret
Postdoctoral Fellow


Design of Protected Superconducting Qubits
Controllable quantum systems that are shielded at a Hamiltonian level from the random fluctuations of their environments could provide a valuable resource for quantum information science. While these "protected qubits" promise unprecedentedly low error rates, this might come at the expense of ease of physical implementation. This thesis focuses on overcoming this apparent design problem in protected qubits within the context of superconducting circuits and their quantized... more
Savannah Thais's picture
Savannah Thais
Sarah Demers
Postdoctoral Associate

Princeton Institute for Computational Science and Engineering

Utilizing Electrons in the Search for Associated Higgs Production with the ATLAS Detector: Higgs decaying to a tau pair and vector boson decaying leptonically
The Higgs boson was discovered by the ATLAS and CMS collaborations in 2012 using data from $\sqrt{s}$=8TeV proton-proton collisions at the LHC. Since the initial discovery of the $H\rightarrow 4l$ and $H\rightarrow \gamma\gamma$ decays, multiple other Higgs analyses of production modes and decay channels have reached discovery significance. This thesis describes the search for the still unobserved vector boson ($V=W^{\pm},Z$) associated Higgs production with the Higgs decaying to a tau lepton... more
Degree Date: May, 2019
Salvatore Aiola's picture
Salvatore Aiola
John Harris
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (National Institute for Nuclear Research).

Jet and heavy-flavor measurements in pp and Pb–Pb collisions with ALICE
Quantum Chromo-Dynamics (QCD) is the field theory that describes the nuclear interactions, responsible for holding together quarks and gluons inside the atomic nuclei. Despite significant progress made in over four decades of experimental and theoretical work since QCD was established, there remain many open questions, especially regarding the fragmentation process of quarks and gluons and the behavior of QCD in the high-temperature regime. Jets are produced from hard-scattered quarks and... more
Elizabeth Boulton's picture
Elizabeth Boulton
Daniel McKinsey

Applications of Two-Phase Xenon Time Projection Chambers: Searching for Dark Matter and Special Nuclear Materials
Over the past four decays, Liquid xenon has emerged as a popular medium for direct detection of dark matter. The Large Underground Xenon (LUX) experiment utilized a 300 kg two-phase xenon detector to set a world-leading limit on the WIMP spin-independent cross-section and WIMP mass parameter space with 332 live-days of data collection. This analysis proved especially challenging due to non-uniform, time-evolving drift fields during the WIMP search run, and it required the use of novel... more
Dandan Ji's picture
Dandan Ji
Eric Brown

Modeling of the dynamics large-scale coherent structures in the system of Rayleigh-Benard Convection
We test the ability of a general low-dimensional model for turbulence to predict geometry-dependent dynamics of large-scale coherent structures, such as convection rolls. The model consists of stochastic ordinary differential equations, which are derived as a function of boundary geometry from the Navier-Stokes equations. The model describes the motion of the LSC in terms of diffusion in a potential. We test the model using Rayleigh-Bénard convection experiments in a cubic container, in... more
Zack Lasner's picture
Zack Lasner
David DeMille
Postdoctoral Researcher

Harvard University

Order-of-magnitude-tighter bound on the electron electric dipole moment
The electron's electric dipole moment (eEDM) is a time-reversal- (T-) violating interaction that is generically predicted to have a magnitude near or above the bounds of current experimental sensitivity in extensions to the Standard Model. We have completed an improved measurement of the electron's electric dipole moment with an order-of-magnitude greater sensitivity than the previous best measurement. The result is consistent with no interaction, |de|<1.1*10^-29 e cm. This upper... more
Junjiajia Long's picture
Junjiajia Long
Thierry Emonet

Tower Research Capital LLC

From Individual to Collective Behavior: The Role of Memory and Diversity in Bacterial Navigation
What is the best strategy to search in an unknown environment? Navigation with only local information available is a ubiquitous problem in nature, especially when local directional information is unreliable due to limited detection range and accuracy. Facing this challenge, many natural systems, including the chemotactic bacteria Escherichia coli, navigate by registering past information “in memory” and making temporal comparisons to bias their random walk up gradients of signal. In... more
James Mulligan's picture
James Mulligan
John Harris
Postdoctoral Associate

University of California, Berkeley

Inclusive jet measurements in Pb-Pb collisions with ALICE
Droplets of deconfined quarks and gluons, known as the quark-gluon plasma, are produced experimentally in ultrarelativistic heavy-ion collisions. Studying this deconfined matter may allow insight into a variety of open questions about the high temperature regime of QCD and the emergent behaviors of QCD. One major effort to probe the quark-gluon plasma is the study of high-momentum jets produced in an initial high momentum-transfer scattering of a heavy-ion collision. Measurements have... more
Michela Paganini's picture
Michela Paganini
Paul Tipton
Postdoctoral Researcher

Facebook AI Research

Machine Learning in High Energy Physics: Applications to Electromagnic Shower Generation, Flavor Tagging, and the Search for di-Higgs Production
This thesis demonstrate the efficacy of designing and developing machine learning algorithms to selected use cases that encompass many of the outstanding challenges in the field of experimental high energy physics. Although simple implementations of neural networks and boosted decision trees have been used in high energy physics for a long time, the field of machine learning has quickly evolved by devising more complex, fast and stable implementations of learning algorithms. The complexity... more
Meredith Powell's picture
Meredith Powell
Meg Urry
Porat Fellow


The Environments of Accreting Supermassive Black Holes
The details of black hole-galaxy coevolution can be revealed by studying the multi-scale environments of accreting supermassive black holes (SMBH). Using state-of-the-art multiwavelength surveys of complementary depths, volumes, and resolutions, I studied the galaxies and cosmic environments that host Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) to test current models of supermassive black hole fueling and feedback. On galactic scales, I investigated the morphology vs. galaxy properties of 5000 galaxies and... more
Matthew Steinecker's picture
Matthew Steinecker
David DeMille
Graduate School Student Year 6 (DeMille)

FASPHY Physics

Sub-Doppler Laser Cooling and Magnetic Trapping of SrF Molecules
In recent years, there has been growing interest in methods for producing gases of ultracold polar molecules, driven by proposals to employ ultracold molecules in applications in ultracold chemistry, quantum information and quantum simulation, and precision measurement. Development of direct laser cooling and trapping techniques for molecules has become a particular focus of experimental and theoretical effort, given the success of analogous techniques in producing ultracold atoms and the... more