I am an NSF Graduate Research Fellow in the Institute for Quantum Matter at The Johns Hopkins University where I am a Doctoral Candidate in Physics working with Professor Collin L. Broholm. We use neutron scattering, complemented by theory and other experimental techniques, to understand how magnetic and electronic structure influence the dynamical properties of quantum materials.
Topological properties of magnetism and electronic band structure are my guiding interests. An example system is a “skyrmion crystal”, where the magnetization on an atomic lattice forms a stable superstructure of topological defects with spins that point in every direction on the unit sphere. The same mathematical object can appear in a different context ("momentum space" in physics-speak) and lead to a new phase of matter called Weyl semimetals. Besides their fundamental import, the diverse class of topological materials have potential for futuristic applications ranging from improved magnetic memory to novel spintronic devices due to their robustness to certain kinds of disorder. I am also active in the development of pump-probe techniques for neutron scattering, which would open an exciting new way of exploring the non-equilibrium properties quantum materials. Stay tuned for several forthcoming publications on these topics!
My undergraduate work at Wesleyan University ranged from experimental fluid dynamics to topics in theoretical ion trap physics, both of which I discuss in this interview. My experimental work in fluid dynamics, cited for the APS Leroy Apker Award, demonstrated novel measurements of the rotational dynamics of anisotropic particles that I designed and fabricated using 3D printing. The new class of techniques we introduced for measuring Lagrangian statistics of ellipsoidal particles may also have exciting applications in measuring knotted vortices in fluid dynamics.
(For more details about my work, you can read this focus piece from Forbes Magazine for a layperson's introduction or refer to my Research page.)
I remain connected to the role science plays in society through outreach to local schools and by contributing articles as an independent science consultant to OZY.com.