People

The Neutrino Group Members consist of two professors: Pantic and Svoboda, plus five postdoctoral researchers, eight graduate students, and a large number of undergraduate assistants. We work on individual experiments (e.g. ANNIE, SNO+, WATCHMAN) in addition to working on developing basic neutrino detection instrumentation (e.g. nanofiltration, photomultipliers, water-based liquid scintillator, fast electronics). We are also involved in the design of new experiments like DUNE and Theia. On this page we introduce ourselves and our work. 

Professors

Robert Svoboda

RobertSvoboda_Teaching.gif

I have been working in the field of neutrino physics for a number of years, having built many large underground multi-purpose detectors (IMB, Super-Kamiokande, KamLAND, SNO+, DUNE, Theia) and also smaller experiments such as Double Chooz and ANNIE. I am interested in understanding neutrinos and their relationship to the Standard Model. Why is the neutrino mass scale so small? Do neutrinos interact with the Higgs? Is there a relationship between neutrino physics and the physics of dark matter? 

Emilija Pantic

Emilija Pantic.jpgIt is incredible that there is roughly five times more "Dark Matter" than normal matter in our universe. What the heck is it? I am interested in the nature of the dark matter and whether we can detect it directly in our laboratories. I spend much of my time on the DarkSide experiment, but I am also interested in cryogenic detector technology and work on the DUNE neutrino experiment and related measurements such as BACON and ACED.

 


Mike Mulhearn

 

Mike_Mulhearn.jpg

 

 

 

Postdocs

Vincent Fischer

My current research focuses on the ANNIE and SNO+ experiments. I wasVincent Fischer.jpg involved in the construction and commissioning of ANNIE Phase 1 in 2016 and my work is now focused on the simulation, data analysis and the preparation of the next physics phase. In SNO+, I'm currently studying the possibility of performing a reactor antineutrino measurement with the detector in its scintillator phase. Previously a member of the Double Chooz, CeSOX and Nucifer collaborations, I have studied low energy neutrinos using liquid scintillator detectors for neutrino oscillation studies, supernovae pointing and reactor monitoring.

 

Luca Pagani

 

 

 

 

 

Leon Pickard

Leon Pickard.jpg

Previously I worked on T2K; a long baseline neutrino experiment located in Japan. Since moving to UC Davis I have begun work on THEIA (a potential multi-purpose neutrino detector in its very early design stages) and SNO+ (located 2100 m underground in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada). My main research interests and activities focus on understanding the fundamental nature of neutrinos: how do neutrinos interact with matter? Are neutrinos their own anti-particles? Is CP violated in the lepton sector? Do neutrinos obey a “normal” or “inverted” mass hierarchy?

 

Jingbo Wang

Jingbo Wang.jpgMy interests lie in the study of CP-violation of neutrinos in the future Long Baseline Neutrino Facility (LBNF). I am also interested in the precise measurement of the neutrino properties, such as their mass hierarchy and their Majorana mass. I previously joined the Large-Area Picosecond Photo-Detector (LAPPD) collaboration, pursuing the new generation photosensors for the future precision measurements of neutrino properties. My current research program focuses on the DUNE/Proto-DUNE and the ANNIE experiments. I will be working at CERN and participating in the Proto-DUNE overall construction, commissioning and data-taking in early 2017. In the ANNIE experiment, I’m currently working on the detector construction, data reconstruction and data analysis.
 

Graduate Students

Julie He

Hello! I graduated from UC Davis with a B.S. in Physics and decided to take a Julie He.jpgfew years off from school to discover which subfields of physics interest me and to explore possible career options. I joined Professor Svoboda and his research group shortly after graduation and got involved in a number of experiments and R&D efforts, including but not limited to (1) developing special de-ionizing resins for the ANNIE experiment, (2) testing photomultiplier tubes for the ANNIE detector, and (3) conducting material compatibility studies with Water-based Liquid Scintillator for the WATCHMAN and Theia experiments. I am also gaining experience in commissioning electronics for a new data acquisition system for the photosensor test stand and monitoring the ANNIE detector as a shift operator. I am very much interested in determining neutrino masses and the correct neutrino mass hierarchy and studying the roles that neutrinos play in the evolution of the universe.

 

Teal Pershing

Teal Pershing.jpgI am a Ph.D. student researching with the SNO+ and WATCHMAN collaborations.  I am currently performing studies to determine the SNO+ sensitivity to antineutrinos produced at Canadian and US reactors.  For WATCHMAN, I am writing software to improve radioisotope background studies performed in the RAT-PAC analysis tool.  For most of 2016, I lived in Sudbury, Ontario and researched at SNOLAB while commissioning the SNO+ detector.  At SNOLAB, I maintained and upgraded the SNO+ slow controls, boated in the SNO+ cavity to replace broken PMTs, and assisted in commissioning the scintillator purification plant.    In the past, I performed neutron activation analysis using the McClellan Nuclear Research Center reactor.  I have also used nanofiltration to attempt purification of liquid organic scintillators.

 

Junying Huang

image_from_ios.jpgI am a Ph.D student working on DUNE experiment. I am interested in understanding the nature of neutrinos. I am currently doing target design and construction of ARTIE. I do test on the target in cryogenic and vacuum environment.

 

 

 

 

 

Undergraduate Students

 

Liang Li

 

Lena Korkeila

I am working on the material compatibility studies of gadolinium sulfate and water based liquid scintillator for the ANNIE and WATCHMAN experiments. Also spent a lot of time this summer on ANNIE remote shift during Phase 1 running.

 

Bryon Peralta 

 

 

Amilcar Perez

Amicar.jpeg

I am an undergraduate student here at UC Davis and I helped Vincent to work on the water system for the ANNIE experiment. We were working on a new method to remove all impurities but gadolinium sulfate from the ANNIE gadolinium-loaded water. For this purpose, we focused our efforts on ion exchange resins, used in many applications such as water treatment, food industry, mining industry and more. The resin, in the form of tiny beads, w e, with the ions meant to be removed from the solution. For our experiment, we modified a commercial resin and carefully tuned it in order to let the gadolinium sulfate solution pass through unimpaired while still capturing ionic impurities (nitrates, etc..). To further purify the solution, we also used other instruments such as a TOC lamp to remove dissolved plastics compounds, a UV lamp to limit bacterial growth and micro-filters to stop dust. Overall, our results showed no loss of gadolinium while removing other contaminants. Since the first tests were conclusive, we are now looking into other types of resins as well as a possible regeneration of the resin beads after use in ANNIE.

 

DeAngelo Wooley

 Deangelo picking up pmt.JPGI am currently an undergraduate student working on Watchmen, Annie, and Artie. For Watchmen I created a Monte-Carlo Simulation to determine how much Uranium-238 and Thorium-232 was in the Photomultiplier tubes from hamamatsu. For Annie I help design the container that will be use for calibration, in the tank at Fermi-lab. And for Artie I helped with setting up calibration for the thermostats for liquid nitrogen.

 

Alumni

Steven Dazeley

Steven worked as a Postdoc on the Super-Kamiokande and KamLAND experiments and is now a staff scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Tim Classen

Tim worked as a Postdoc on the Double Chooz experiment and is now a staff scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Marc Bergevin

Marc worked as a Postdoc on the Double Chooz and WATCHMAN experiments, and is now a staff scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Chris Grant

Chris worked as a Postdoc on SNO+ and DUNE/CAPTAIN. He is now on the faculty at Boston University.

Justin Dhooghe

Justin just graduated in December 2017! His thesis was on the measurement of theta13 using the Double Chooz Near and Far detectors.

Nick Walsh

Nick graduated in 2016 with a thesis on the Bottle of Argon COunting Neutrons (BACON) experiment - a measurement of the 40Ar(n,p)40Cl cross section relevant for DUNE. He is now a Postdoc at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

John Felde

John graduated in 2014 with a thesis on simulations for the LBNE (now DUNE) experiment, plus a measurement of theta13 using reactor rates versus power at Double Chooz. he is now a Postdoc at the University of Maryland.

Cara Maesano 

Cara graduated in 2012 with a theis on background measurements in the Double Chooz far detector. She now works in Epidemiology at the Sorbonne Universités, Paris.

 

 

Morgan Askins

 

 

Steven Gardiner