My research interests are in low energy experimental particle physics. Specifically I am interested in detecting neutrinos and dark matter. I am currently work on Double Chooz, which is an international collaboration whose aim is to measure the final neutrino mixing angle, q13. I head up the US reactor-modeling group, which will provide the fission rates from the reactor core. From these fission rates we then can infer the fission products and their subsequent beta decays. This transition from fission products to antineutrino rates is also a topic of my research.
I further have interests in tying all of this into something practical. This has become an exciting field of research in that we are beginning to develop small-scale antineutrino detectors to use toward the non-proliferation effort. The ultimate goal is to provide a completely independent measurement of the reactor's fuel content and to determine if fuel is being diverted from the core. I am currently working on several projects in collaboration with Sandia National Laboratory to deploy different types of detectors at reactors around the world.
My graduate work was dedicated to solar neutrino detection with KamLAND. I am still very interested in the prospect of measuring the low energy solar neutrinos. Precision measurements of the 7Be and CNO neutrinos would allow us to confirm and map out the MSW transition region. To this extent the duel phase Xenon and Argon detectors are a fascinating area of research as they could provide a means to detect both solar neutrinos and dark matter.
Honors and Awards
- 2011 Dissertation Award of Merit, University of Alabama
- 2010 Spot Award, LLNL, PLS
- 2008 - Graduate Council Research Fellow, University of Alabama
- 2006 - Research Grant, Research Center for Neutrino Science (RCNS), Tohoku University, Japan
- 2002 - McNair Scholar, University of Alabama
- American Physical Society