Christopher Wrede, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Physics
Chris is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Michigan State University with a joint appointment at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory. His primary research interest is in the field of experimental nuclear astrophysics and he has taught courses in Astronomy, Electronics, and Nuclear Astrophysics. Prior to joining MSU in 2011, Chris received a Ph.D. in Physics from Yale University in 2008 and spent three years as a Research Associate based at the University of Washington’s Center for Experimental Nuclear Physics and Astrophysics.
David received his Ph.D. from the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain) in 2010. His dissertation dealt with the production of medium-mass neutron-rich nuclei using two different mechanisms: the fission of 238U and the projectile fragmentation of fission residues. In this research, the fragmentation of 132Sn was investigated for the first time. After receiving his degree he joined GANIL (France). There, he worked on the development of a next generation active target and time projection chamber (ACTAR TPC). He was mainly involved in the development of a Geant4-ROOT based simulation package to provide reliable simulations of various physics cases. He is currently working on the design and development of a gaseous detector for studies of beta-delayed low-energy proton emission in order to investigate resonances of particular interest in explosive stellar nucleosynthesis processes. He is performing detailed Geant4 simulations of this detector that will help to define its final geometry. David has performed a comprehensive analysis of the beta-delayed gamma decay of 26P to 26Si and found potential evidence for a proton halo in 26P [Phys. Rev. C 93, 064320 (2016)]. He is also the spokesperson for NSCL Experiment 15076, a planned precision mass measurement of the exotic nuclide 28S with the LEBIT Penning trap mass spectrometer for tests of fundamental symmetries.
Moshe Friedman, Ph.D., Research Associate
Moshe finished his Ph.D. research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2016: a measurement of the proton elastic form factor ratio at low momentum transfer (Q2 = 0.02-0.08 GeV2) at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (JLAB), Newport News, VA. Moshe was also involved in the modeling and commissioning of a quasi-stellar neutron source for s-process measurements at SARAF (Israel). He published a stand-alone C++ code, SimLiT, for calculating the resulting neutron spectrum from the 7Li(p,n)7Be reaction, an important neutron source for s-process measurements and medical purposes (BNCT). He was also involved in the modeling of a detector for prompt fission neutron emission spectrum of 235U(n,f), which is relevant for reactor physics. Moshe is currently working on the assembly and commissioning of a gas-filled proton detector for studies of beta-delayed proton emission, which will be used to study the rp-process in novae and x-ray bursts.
Cathleen Fry, B.S., 4th year Ph.D. candidate in Physics at MSU
Cathleen received her B.S. in Physics at Tennessee Technological University in 2013. She was involved in a project cataloguing the discovery of the isotopes at Michigan State as an REU student in 2011. In 2012, she was involved in an REU project at Notre Dame studying the feasibility of using deuterons as a probe to study the Isoscalar Giant Monopole Resonance. At Michigan State, she is currently supported by the NSCL and University Distinguished Fellowships. She has planned, executed, an analyzed an experiment to discover and measure 35Ar excited states at Maier-Leibnitz Laboratory in Munich to constrain the 34Cl(p, γ)35Ar reaction rate, which is relevant for nova nucleosynthesis. She recently published a paper on the results of this work, reporting the discovery of 17 new resonances [Phys. Rev. C 91, 015803 (2015)]. Cathleen recently ran an experiment to measure the lifetimes of 30P(p, γ)31S resonances at Canada's national laboratory for nuclear and particle physics, TRIUMF, which will complement Michael Bennett's work on 31Cl beta decay. Cathleen is also currently serving as a member-at-large on the APS Forum of Graduate Student Affairs executive board.
Brent Glassman, B.S., 4th year Ph.D. candidate in Physics at MSU
Brent received his B.S. in Physics at James Madison University in 2013. His undergraduate research dealt with the analysis of one-proton-removal reactions of proton-rich psd-shell nuclei for reactions relevant to novae. He is currently analyzing data from an experiment to study the CNO-cycle breakout reactions occurring on accreting compact stars and isospin-symmetry breaking related to tests of the Standard Model of particle physics via 20Mg beta decay. He recently published a paper demonstrating the revalidation of the isobaric multiplet mass equation in the A=20 quintet [Phys. Rev. C, 92, 042501(R) (2015)].
Tamas Budner, B.S., 1st year Ph.D. candidate in Physics at MSU
In 2016, Tamas graduated from Ursinus College summa cum laude, earning his B.S. with Honors in Physics and minors in computer science and mathematics. His senior thesis was a continuation of his computational atomic physics research related to the field ionization of Rydberg atoms [Phys. Rev. A 92, 043412 (2015)] and involved developing a genetic algorithm for selective state ionization. Supported by the NSCL Graduate Fellowship and the College of Natural Science Recruiting Fellowship, he recently began working as a research assistant in Dr. Wrede’s nuclear astrophysics group at Michigan State. Currently, he is working on a project with the intention of experimentally constraining the thermonuclear rate of the 30P(p, γ)31S reaction by measuring the branching ratios of low energy proton emissions following the decay of 31Cl.
Madison conducted research as part of Michigan State University's REU program in Summer 2015 and contimued her work into the following academic year as a Hantel Fellow. Her project involves simulating the performance of a new beta-delayed proton detector using different gas compositions and detector geometries. Her work has helped to solidify the conceptual and mechanical designs of this detector.
Eric Aboud, Junior in Physics at MSU
Eric is conducting research as a Professorial Assistant. He has analyzed data on 32Cl beta decay and is currently preparing a paper on the results.
Pranjal Tiwari, Sophomore in Physics at MSU
Pranjal recently joined the group as a Professorial Assistant. He is currently helping to plan a nuclear reaction experiment at Maier Leibnitz Laboratorium in Garching, Germany by running simulations.
Alumni (former Graduate Students and Research Associates):
Mike completed a B.S. cum laude in Physics, with minors in Music and Mathematics, in 2009 at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. While at Westmont he performed research with the 24” Keck Telescope as well as with the Cosmic Muon Detection Array. After graduating he worked at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History as Astronomy Programs Assistant before coming to NSCL in 2011. At MSU, Mike co-led an experiment to constrain the 25Al(p, γ)26Si reaction rate, which influences the amount of 26Al produced in classical novae, and he published paper on that work [Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 232503 (2013)]. Next, he completed a thesis on the beta decay of 31Cl and the 30P(p, γ)31S reaction rate, which strongly influences nucleosynthesis in classical novae. The first two results from the latter work were recently published [Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 102502 (2016) and Phys. Rev. C, 93, 064310 (2016)]. Mike also served two terms as the Graduate Outreach Representative for the NSCL and one term as the elected President of the Physics Graduate Organization. He defended his Ph.D thesis on July 25th, 2016. He is now the Director of Educational Outreach and Research at JILA and the Physics Education Research Group at the University of Colorado at Boulder, working with Nobel Prize winner Eric Cornell and Noah Finkelstein.
Sarah Schwartz, B.S., M.S. (MSU, 2016)
Sarah received a B.S. in Mathematics with a Minor in Physics from the University of Southern Indiana in 2014. She was a participant in Michigan State University’s REU program in 2013. During that program she began studying beta delayed proton-gamma emissions from 26P to 25Al to find the absolute intensities of the 25Al gamma rays emitted and also focused on analyzing Doppler-broadening effects from that decay due to the recoil velocity of 25Al. She continued that work in the graduate program at Michigan State and published a paper describing the first observation and application of radiative Doppler broadening in beta delayed proton-gamma decay [Phys. Rev. C 92, 031302(R) (2015)]. This work formed the basis of her M.S. thesis, which she defended successfully on April 26th, 2016.