Alum wins Fellowship at Los Alamos National Lab

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bryon Neufeld, PhD '09, has enjoyed his first year at Los Alamos National Lab (LANL) in New Mexico.  Neufeld was recently awarded the Director's Fellowship Award, a competitive award given across all fields of science at LANL.  Below Neufeld writes about his research at LANL and the work the award will allow him to pursue.

Submitted by Bryon Neufeld, PhD '09:
I certainly miss the student life at Duke and all of the fun things that offered.  As one might guess, being a postdoc, especially at a national lab (as opposed to a university) is much different than being a grad student.
The transition to LANL and New Mexico has been great for the most part.  New Mexico offers great outdoor activities such as hiking (see photo).  The Lab is a great atmosphere for scientific research with a long and rich legacy of excellence.  At the lab, I continue to work in the field of relativistic heavy-ion physics, as I did at Duke. My current project is to investigate parton production associated with electroweak bosons in heavy-ion collisions.  It is hoped that these 'tagged partons' will provide an experimental handle on the modification of energetic partons due to the surrounding nuclear medium, which, when compared with theory, will shed light on properties of the quark gluon plasma created in these collisions.

The Director's Funded Fellowship will begin in October and will allow me to work on a similar topic, which is how thermalized strongly interacting matter is modified by energetic projectiles.  This topic is closely related to my thesis work and I look forward to making more progress in this area.