Wouter van De Pontseele

Wouter van De Pontseele

Postdoctoral Fellow of the Belgian American Educational Foundation, Laboratory for Nuclear Science, MIT
Wouter Van de Pontseele

I completed a Master in Physics and Astronomy at the Ghent University in Belgium. Through the particle physics group at Ghent, I gained exposure in different collaborations located at CERN (SPS, slow extraction), Madison (IceCube) and Imperial College London (SoLid).

Those experiences strengthened my passion for measuring the almost unmeasurable. I started a PhD at Oxford University while being connected as a research fellow at Harvard University. The topic of my PhD is neutrino selection and cosmic background characterisation in the MicroBooNE detector. More specifically, I am looking at Charged Current Electron Neutrino interactions in the Booster Neutrino Beam. This channel is the most inclusive way to investigate the excess observed by the MiniBooNE detector. My supervisor is Prof. Roxanne Guenette. This project is made possible by the Clarendon Fund's generous support, the Universities Research Association and my college, Jesus College Oxford. I completed my PhD after 4 years in 2020.

I’m currently working as a Research Fellow at MIT's Laboratory for Nuclear Science. Together with Prof. Joe Formaggio, we are trying to figure out new ways to amplify microwaves for fundamental physics. By using devices consisting of hundreds of Josephson junctions inside an ultra-cold dilution refrigerator, a signal interacts with a strong pump wave, exchanging energy and growing exponentially. We hope to use this technology to detect the faint radio waves emitted by electrons captured in magnetic fields to measure the absolute neutrino mass ultimately.

 

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