Summer 2022 Student Spotlight
Department: Physics & Astronomy
Describe your research/creative scholarship in a few sentences that we can all understand: My research is about theoretical particle physics. I investigate the ability of a newly proposed particle collider aiming to find new physics that is beyond the most up-to-date theory.
Q: What does your research look like on a day-to-day basis? What do you spend most of your time doing?
A: I spend most of my time doing simulations, including the generation of collisional events and running computational programs to analyze them.
Q: Who mentors your project?
A: Dr. Ian Lewis
Q:What did you find most challenging about getting involved in or doing your project? What advice would you offer to students facing similar challenges?
A: The most challenging part of my project is that there's no "correct answer" anymore. Neither my professors can tell me exactly if a value is 100% right or wrong. When I make a plot, there is no similar plot to compare to, but I need to discuss it with my professors and determine if it makes sense based on our knowledge. This is the first time I get to use the knowledge I learned in class on a "real" thing rather than solving an in-class question. I find reading papers and talking to advisors and collaborators really helpful. Students get to learn to study independently by solving problems themselves. But sometimes, because of the limitation in our knowledge and experience, we would often not be able to get the correct intuition; therefore, often talking to your advisors would help you understand the project faster and better.
Q: What do you like most about your project?
A: My project is really eye-opening. I have heard about quarks, leptons, etc. but I never thought that in this project, I would not only learn the details about them but also participate in the most forefront studies of particle physics.
Facebook: Yanzhe Zhang https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100010925856878