Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Luis Martinez

Experimental Physicist

Physics Division

July 15, 2021

What do you like about working at the Lab?

I like solving new problems and having access to experts across many fields of science which can provide new insights.

What do your day-to-day work activities include?

About half of my day is usually dedicated to running experiments and collecting data, whether it’s discovering something new about our systems, or simply figuring out why something is not working. The other half goes into data analysis, research, and of course, meetings and management stuff.

What is one project you’re really proud to have worked on?

I was really proud to have worked on a project in which we demonstrated the use of machine learning to help improve our quantum processors. It was a fun new project for me that combined a good amount of data processing along with collecting the experimental data.

What is your educational or career background?

I have a BA and a PhD in physics. I received my BA from UC Berkeley and my PhD from UC Merced.

What inspired you to go into science/your field of work?

Actually, I started as a business economics major. But I have always been curious about understanding the world around me. In college, I would read basic science articles, especially about light...until one day a friend suggested I take a physics course. So I did and could not get enough. I kept taking more physics courses until I ended up with a PhD in physics. Now, instead of taking courses, I get to learn from scientific talks, or, at least try to.

What advice would you give to a new employee at the Lab?

Ask for help if you need it. Go to talks and get to know people, especially people outside your field. Get involved in a networking club.

What do you do in your free time?

I like fixing things—I am currently trying to rebuild my 1986 Trans Am. I also like sports and recently got into mountain biking. And I am a member of Amigos Unidos Hispanics in Partnership.

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