|Michelle Prewitt works on the DZero experiment.|
WHICH UNIVERSITY DID YOU ATTEND?
WHAT EXPERIMENT ARE YOU ON?
WHAT IS YOUR RESEARCH FOCUS?
I searched for the rare decay Bs → μ+μ–. This decay is particularly interesting because the rate at which this process occurs can be affected by new physics. By determining the branching fraction of this decay, new physics models can be constrained or excluded.
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN PARTICLE PHYSICS?
NASA. I participated in the NASA Academy program at Marshall Space Flight Center the summer before starting graduate school. My research project involved calibrating a particle detector used in material testing.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE OR 10 YEARS?
I see myself involved in interesting research. As long as I have a puzzle to work on, I’m happy.
DURING GRAD SCHOOL, WHAT WAS THE MOST UNUSUAL OR EXCITING THING YOU DID OUTSIDE OF PHYSICS?
As far as unusual goes, I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane. It is tons of fun, and I highly recommend it. The most exciting thing I did during graduate school was get married. This wasn’t really outside of physics, though, since I met my husband at Fermilab.
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO NOW?
I am looking for a postdoc or research position that will allow me to work from Houston.
Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of occasional profiles of recently graduated students who conduct research at Fermilab. The series is intended to highlight Fermilab early-career scientists’ work at and outside the laboratory.