I am originally from Greensburg, Kentucky, but have lived in Lexington since 2000. My undergraduate degree is in English, with a minor in computer science, and I also have a J.D. from the UK College of Law. I have been working for A&S for three years.
1. What do you do in your spare time? Usually, anything that gets away from the internet/email/etc. I enjoy going to see live music when I can, even when I¹ve never heard of the band. I also like to get out and run or walk my dog, especially when the weather cooperates.
2. What is your favorite movie or book? I don't know that I have a favorite, but I really enjoy utopian/dystopian literature. Even books I would consider fairly terrible tend to be humorous or interesting, while the better works have themes so deep that I get something new with each read.
Through Paul Laurence Dunbar High School's Math, Science, and Technology Center, high school senior Valerie Sarge is acquiring an impressive set of research skills before she even begins college. Valerie has been working with chemistry professor John Anthony at UK's Center for Applied Energy Research, and is looking at how agricultural byproducts might be able to be used in flexible, low-cost electronics.
The axion is a well-motivated dark matter candidate, but is challenging to search for. We propose a new way to search for QCD axion and axion-like-particle (ALP) dark matter. Nuclei that are interacting with the background axion dark matter acquire time-varying CP-odd nuclear moments such as an electric dipole moment. In analogy with nuclear magnetic resonance, these moments cause precession of nuclear spins in a material sample in the presence of a background electric field. This precession can be detected through high-precision magnetometry. With current techniques, this experiment has sensitivity to axion masses below 10^-9 eV, corresponding to theoretically well-motivated axion decay constants around the grand unification and Planck scales. With improved magnetometry, this experiment could ultimately cover the entire range of masses below 10^-6 eV, just beyond the region accessible to current axion searches. A discovery in such an experiment would not only reveal the nature of dark matter and confirm the axion as the solution of the strong CP problem, but would also provide a glimpse of physics at the highest energy scales, far beyond what can be directly probed in the laboratory.
The Proton's Weak Charge One of the highest priorities of present-day experimental particle and nuclear physics is to search for indications of physics which is not contained in the Standard Model. Precision measurements of quantities that are robustly predicted within the Standard Model are an important class of such searches. An example is a measurement of the proton's weak charge. The weak charge is the strength of the proton's vector coupling to the weak neutral current, and its value is a firm prediction of the Standard Model. Thus an experimental test of the prediction is well motivated as a search for new physics. A recently completed experiment at Jefferson Lab, Qweak, has the goal of making the first precision measurement of the weak charge, using parity-violating electron scattering from hydrogen at very low momentum transfer. The result from the first subset of data will be presented, as well as an overview of the data analysis for the full data set and prospects for the final result, which will provide a sensitivity to new physics at the multi-TeV scale.
The College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Kentucky offers the opportunity to work with renowned faculty in over forty varied departments. From Economics to Earth and Environmental Studies, A&S offers a hands-on educational experience, preparing you for a successful career after graduation.