Thomas Penny

Thomas Penny's picture
Postdoctoral Associate
Research Areas: 
Particle Physics
Research Type: 
Current Projects: 
Levitated Optomechanics
Biographical Sketch: 
Originally from the UK, I studied for my undergraduate degree at Imperial College London before moving a few miles down the road for my PhD at UCL. Outside of the lab, I enjoy rock climbing, mountaineering and running.
Research : 
I work with microscale and nanoscale, levitated objects to investigate fundamental physics. In my PhD, I used electric fields to levitate nanoscale silica spheres and developed a platform for testing quantum mechanics on the macroscopic scale. In particular, I made preliminary measurements to bound the force noise generated by spontaneous collapse models and demonstrated control over a system of two coupled, levitated nanospheres. At Yale, I am shifting to a new experimental system and area of investigation. I will work with intense lasers to levitate microscale spheres which are highly sensitive to impulse forces. The aim is to directly measure the small momentum recoils due to events such as alpha particle decay or dark matter collisions.
Ph.D. 2022, University College London
David Moore