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Previous issues of the newsletter are published below.




Name: Claudia de Rham


Current position: Faculty


Affiliation: Imperial College London


Field of research: Theoretical Physics & Cosmology



 

What is your career trajectory to date?

I started as a PhD student at Cambridge University working on theoretical cosmology before moving onto postdoctoral positions at McGill, McMaster and at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Canada. I then moved to Geneva under an SNSF-assistant professorship scheme, before being appointed as a faculty at Case Western Reserve University. I moved to Imperial College London in 2016.


What are the most exciting open questions in your research area?

How was the Universe created? What happened at the Big Bang and upon approaching a Black Hole singularity. What drives the late-time acceleration of the Universe and how is this consistent with standard field theory considerations.


What do you like and dislike about being a scientist?

Creativity and sharing ideas are some of the pros.


Which of your skills are you most proud of, or find most useful?

Creativity.


In your career so far, at what point were you the most excited, and what were you excited about?


Every day!





Name: Inar Timiryasov


Current position: Postdoc


Affiliation: Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen


Field of research: Cosmology and particle physics




 

What is your career trajectory to date?

I have received my Ph.D. from MSU in 2016 and spent the next five years as a postdoc at EPFL. Since October 2021 I am a postdoc at Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen.


What are the most exciting open questions in your research area?

To my taste, the most exciting open questions are the nature of dark matter and the origin of the asymmetry between matter and antimatter.


What do you like and dislike about being a scientist?

My work as a scientist is driven by a curiosity about how things work on the largest and smallest scales. At the same time, on daily basis, I enjoy translating complicated mathematical constructions into computer language and observing how the codes capture physics.


The price for the meaningful job is the need to apply for funding. This requires a set of skills that are different from those needed for research. The future career perspectives are also far from being certain.


Which of your skills are you most proud of, or find most useful?

I am proud of my hands-on skills. I can translate elaborated theoretical constructions into computer code.


What advances or new results are you excited about or looking forward to?

In the nearest future, I am looking forward to the results of XRISM, which will finally clarify the origin of 3.5 keV line. This line can be a signal of sterile neutrino dark matter.


What role do you think a community network like EuCAPT can play in developing theoretical astroparticle physics and cosmology in Europe?

Well, facilitating network.


What’s your favorite food?

Pizza.


Have you lived in a different European country than you do now? If so, would you like to tell us something about it, e.g. a fond memory or something you found surprising?


I spent 5 years in Switzerland. I think the most exciting memories are related to mountaineering.


How do you like to relax after a hard day of work?

I sleep :)


Do you have any non-physics interests that you would like to share?


I enjoy endurance sports, like running, cycling, and mountaineering.


If you were not a scientist, what do you think you would be doing?

Working on artificial intelligence. Also, In my opinion, the odds that the next breakthrough in fundamental physics will be made by artificial intelligence are high.


What do you hope to see accomplished scientifically in the next 50 years?

If we will ever understand the nature of gravity, dark matter, dark energy, the baryon asymmetry of the Universe, and the neutrino masses, I bet it will happen in the next 50 years.


What question would you have liked us to ask you, and what would you have responded?


What is the most reasonable explanation of neutrino masses and what are its consequences? I would respond that type I seesaw is the minimalistic and elegant explanation, which predicts the existence of heavy neutral leptons, and accommodates leptogenesis.













Name: Amelia Drew


Current position: Post doc


Affiliation: Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge


Field of research: Cosmic strings and numerical relativity





 

What is your career trajectory to date?

I did my PhD in DAMTP, graduating in 2021, and have remained there for my first postdoc as a Junior Research Fellow at Homerton College.


What are the most exciting open questions in your research area?

There are some really key points about cosmic string networks which are yet to be agreed upon within the community, primarily what are their radiative signatures, including gravitational waves and axion radiation. Whether or not cosmic strings are present in our Universe is also clearly an exciting question!


What do you like and dislike about being a scientist?

I love the autonomy, and the ability to work every day on projects that I find interesting with interesting people. I dislike the pressure that comes from being self-motivated and the lack of job security.


Which of your skills are you most proud of, or find most useful?

In terms of 'traditional' skills, I am proud of my coding ability and the high level of rigour that I generally apply to my work. I really enjoy meeting new physicists and making connections, which is very useful for discussing new project ideas, especially interdisciplinary ones. I am also proud of the high standard of the outreach projects that I have participated in or delivered.


In your career so far, at what point were you the most excited, and what were you excited about?


Scientifically, I really enjoyed the Cosmic Strings Workshop that I attended in Leiden in 2018. As an early PhD student, it was great to meet a lot of the people within the community. I was also excited when the NanoGRAV stochastic gravitational wave background results came out in 2020. In terms of career progression, I was incredibly excited when I found out that I got my current Fellowship!


What new skills would you like to learn in the next year?


I would like to improve at prioritising finishing off existing projects rather than getting carried away with starting new ones!


What advances or new results are you excited about or looking forward to?


I am certainly looking forward to the launch of LISA!


What is the biggest obstacle that is slowing down your research field right now?

Probably lack of sufficient computing power, although it is improving rapidly.


What role do you think a community network like EuCAPT can play in developing theoretical astroparticle physics and cosmology in Europe?

I think communities like EuCAPT are vital to ECRs, especially following the last 2 years of COVID. They facilitate connections to enable exciting scientific collaboration between institutes.


What’s your favorite food?

Chocolate 😋


Have you lived in a different European country than you do now? If so, would you like to tell us something about it, e.g. a fond memory or something you found surprising?


No, although I take every possible opportunity to travel. I lived in France for a couple of months when I was a teenager, and I am absolutely in love with the country and the culture. I am also particularly fond of Amsterdam.


How do you like to relax after a hard day of work?

Reading, Netflix or a bath!


Do you have any non-physics interests that you would like to share?


I enjoy running and am currently training for the Cambridge Half Marathon. I also really enjoy yoga, although I have let this slide recently..


If you were not a scientist, what do you think you would be doing?

I very nearly pursued the path to become a professional violinist, so maybe that!


What do you hope to see accomplished scientifically in the next 50 years?

I hope that we will gain some brand new insight into physics that we haven't yet even conceptualised.


What question would you have liked us to ask you, and what would you have responded?


How to reach me! My website is here: https://amelialdrew.github.io and my Twitter account is @AmeliaDrew4. See you there!