Physics Careers Seminar: "Space Research at Los Alamos National Laboratory"

Speaker Dr. Rebecca Holmes Sandoval, Scientist, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Date: 2/25/2021
Time: 2 p.m.
Location: Via ZOOM - see description for link
Event Contact: Lance Cooper
Sponsor: Department of Physics
Event Type: Seminar/Symposium

Abstract: Over 75 years after the Manhattan Project, Los Alamos National Laboratory has become a world-class multidisciplinary lab with a wide range of science and security missions. I will give an overview of one small slice of what physicists do at LANL, focusing on space research—including basic science (space weather, planetary science), nuclear non-proliferation (detecting nuclear explosions from space), and space traffic control (license plates for satellites). I’ll also talk about LANL’s contributions to the Perseverance rover (landing on Mars February 18) and some of my current work studying the aurora with a single-photon camera in Alaska. Finally, I’ll share some reasons why I think LANL is a great place to be a postdoc and why I enjoy living in Los Alamos, and some details about the postdoc program and hiring process.

Bio: Rebecca Holmes Sandoval received her PhD in physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2017, where she studied the single-photon sensitivity of the human visual system in Paul Kwiat’s quantum optics group. After graduating, she joined LANL as a postdoc in the Intelligence & Space Research (ISR) division. She became a permanent staff member in the ISR-2 group (Space & Remote Sensing) in 2019. Like most LANL scientists, Rebecca has had the opportunity to branch out into many different fields only loosely related to her graduate work, including optical remote sensing and LANL’s small satellite programs. She lives in Los Alamos with her husband, also a LANL staff member, and their puppy and two cats (not LANL employees).

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