Why does the universe look the way it does? What are its building blocks, and how do they work? These are the questions that drive Jonathan Asaadi, assistant professor of physics. A high-energy physics experimentalist, Dr. Asaadi focuses on neutrino physics and detector research and development. In 2020, he received the Department of Energy’s Early Career Research Award to work on a novel idea to make a sensor for neutrino physics experiments that is sensitive to signals from both light and charge.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
The professional accomplishment I am most proud of is being recognized by my peers and asked to serve as co-spokesperson of a small experiment collaboration (known as the LArIAT collaboration). Being given the opportunity to co-lead an experiment and help make programmatic choices that inform the science that will be done is an extremely satisfying recognition that your fellow scientists (older and younger) trust your judgment and ability. I am also very proud to have worked with a number of students and helped them achieve their PhDs based on the experimental work we did together and to have seen a number of publications come into existence.
What are you excited about right now?
I am really excited about the Department of Energy’s Early Career Research Award because it 1) is a compelling and challenging piece of R&D that is exactly what I want to be working on, 2) is the first time this award has been given to a university-based scientist to work on detector R&D and is an acknowledgment that UTA is doing some pioneering work in this field, and 3) allows me to collaborate with some of my favorite people both at UTA and in the broader high-energy physics community.
What are you most looking forward to?
Right now, the prospect that we may be approaching the end of a period where we had to keep distance from one another due to the pandemic. While I realize that we aren’t out of the woods yet, the hope that we will be able to work, collaborate, and meet in person is really exciting to me. I’m the kind of person who loves getting together with people and have really missed that since the beginning of the pandemic.