Month: November 2021

#WomenonWednesdays: Cynthia Vidal

For this week, we interviewed Dr. Cynthia Vidal, a postdoctoral researcher and Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellow in the Experimental Solid State Physics group, working in Photonics.

As a little introduction, what area of Physics do you specialize in?

I am an experimentalist in the field of photonics. More precisely, I work on the control of single photon emitters using nanostructures. But I actually started by studying theoretical physics, particle physics and cosmology. After finishing my master in this field, I even started a PhD but, for many different reasons, had to switch subject. So I unexpectedly ended up working on nano-optics!


#WomenonWednesdays: Abbey Waldron

This week for our Women on Wednesdays series, we spoke to Dr. Abbey Waldron, a postdoctoral researcher in the High Energy Physics group working on neutrino oscillation physics.

As a little introduction, what area of Physics do you specialize in?

I’m a neutrino physicist. I work on the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, which is a long baseline neutrino oscillation experiment. It starts at Fermilab, which is just outside Chicago in the US, and we make a beam of neutrinos by colliding protons on a target and then focusing the charged decay products and then when they decay, the secondary decays form a beam of neutrinos. This beam then travels 1300 km across the US to South Dakota, where we have our far detectors. We also have near detectors close to the beam production and that allows us to observe the neutrinos in both detectors and see how they’ve changed through oscillations as they travel.

The ultimate goal of that work is to see whether neutrinos and antineutrinos behave the same in their oscillation, because the matter-antimatter asymmetry from neutrino oscillations could lead to the matter-antimatter asymmetry that we see in the universe. We see a matter-dominated universe and this could help explain that.


#WomenonWednesdays: Claudia de Rham

For this week’s interview series, we interviewed Professor of Theoretical Physics Claudia de Rham.

As a little introduction, what of Physics do you specialize in?

I am a theoretical physicist working at the interface between gravity, particle physics and cosmology. Like any scientist, I am really interested in understanding how nature works, but what fascinates me is the Universe as a whole. The Universe started at extremely high energy, so high that the laws of physics as we know them probably don’t apply there. Then throughout its cosmological history the Universe cooled down and expanded to reach the incredibly low energy density we are experiencing today. So understanding the Universe is really attempting to understand the laws of physics from the highest to the lowest possible scales.


#WomenonWednesdays: Bilgesu Aydın

We interviewed 3rd year MSci Physics student Bilgesu Aydın for our series! Bilgesu was President of the Imperial College Physics Society during the academic year 2020-21. She was the youngest president ever and the first woman to hold the title (as far as anyone in the Department today knows).

How did you come to study Physics?

I come from a fairly academic family, both my parents are academics and I spent most of my summers as a child around the university, among PhD vivas, chilling around with books. Academia was something in my life from a very young age. When I was younger I was definitely very interested in science – I used to read a lot of popular science books and magazines. I then had a period where I had changing phases of interests – these ranged from various forms of art and design to law and economics. It really wasn’t until my last two years of school that I decided for sure that I wanted to study physics and an internship I did at an observatory over the summer helped me make this decision. The pleasure I got from being able to answer questions about everything around me made want to learn as much physics as I can.