The Joy of Making an Impact

Cecilia Lunardini, PhD: The Joy of Making an Impact

Explains an interdisciplinary branch of physics and the passion for research, service, and teaching.

Video Transcript

Dr. Cecilia Lunardini's Bio

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More Videos by Dr. Cecilia Lunardini

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Emphasizes peer relationships and departmental climate.

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Transcript: The Joy of Making an Impact

I work in the field of astro-particle physics which is an emergent field, and it's very new area of physics because it combines particle physics and astrophysics which traditionally were very separated-two different communities. To bring them together offers a lot of opportunities to learn new physics. In particular, what I work on is exploding stars. Stars that collapse and explode and in doing so, they emit neutrinos. The fields are particles that interact very weakly with matter. This is very important because they can get out of the core of a star with no absorption whatsoever.

The way they do is similar to X-rays say with your hand. You can see your bones with X-rays, the interior of your body. With neutrinos, you can see the interior of a star so you can learn how the star explodes. This is very exciting to me, because as I said, it combines different elements. So the first source of joy, of course, is the joy of discovery, of learning which I think is the original motivation to go into physics in the first place.

Another thing that I'm discovering right now, as a university professor, is the joy of seeing that you can make an impact. It can be through research: having your papers appreciated and used in the results by other researchers; and it can be through service or teaching. The joy of seeing that you can communicate something and the people can learn and go home with something new in their mind to think of.


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