Dept. of Energy grad student research award goes to London Cooper-Troendle

London Cooper-Troendle
London Cooper-Troendle

Graduate student London Cooper-Troendle has won a national award from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program.

Cooper-Troendle, a third-year graduate student in physics, will conduct research at Brookhaven National Laboratory as part of the award. The award provides support for travel to and from the laboratory, plus a monthly stipend.

The SCGSR program announced 70 awards on April 12, going to 52 universities in the United States that grant doctoral degrees in physical sciences. The aim of the awards program is to prepare graduate students for science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) careers critically important to the mission of the DOE Office of Science. This is done by providing graduate thesis research opportunities at DOE laboratories.

The award period for the research project may range from three to 12 consecutive months. Cooper-Troendle’s project focuses on experimental research in high energy physics.

Cooper-Troendle has worked with Yale physics professor Bonnie Fleming on the MicroBooNE experiment, which is based at Fermilab in Illinois and detects neutrinos that collide with argon atoms inside a sophisticated detector. Scientists track particle debris to learn the type and properties of neutrinos involved. Neutrinos are subatomic particles that carry no electric charge and travel through the universe almost entirely unaffected by natural forces.

A big part of the analysis is characterizing what type of collision occurred between the neutrino and the detector body, which is liquid argon,” Cooper-Troendle said. “My prior and current work has been developing a new approach to determine a particle’s energy based on the angles at which it scatters while passing through the argon. During the course of the SCGSR period I will more generally be working on accurately determining the trajectory of particles, the number of electrons they ionize, and how much energy they can be inferred to have from this process.”

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