Minerba Betancourt

Minerba Betancourt currently works on the MINERvA experiment. Photo courtesy of Minerba Betancourt

NAME:
Minerba Betancourt

WHICH UNIVERSITY DID YOU ATTEND?
University of Minnesota

WHO WAS YOUR ADVISOR?
Ken Heller.

ON WHICH EXPERIMENT DID YOU WORK?
NOvA

WHAT IS YOUR RESEARCH FOCUS?
I studied the muon neutrino data collected in the NOvA detector prototype, specifically the identification of quasi-elastic charged-current scattering and measurement of the behavior of the quasi-elastic muon neutrino cross section. My current interest is the study of the quasi-elastic charged-current scattering.

HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN PARTICLE PHYSICS?
I had the opportunity to do a summer internship for the MINOS experiment while I was graduate student, and I really enjoyed it. Then I pursued joining a neutrino experiment. I worked for the NOvA experiment for my Ph.D.

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE OR 10 YEARS?
I enjoy research and teaching. I would like to get a faculty or permanent research laboratory position.

DURING GRAD SCHOOL, WHAT WAS THE MOST UNUSUAL OR EXCITING THING YOU DID OUTSIDE OF PHYSICS?
The most exciting thing was to meet people from many countries and share their culture and their food.

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO NOW?
I’m excited because I just started a postdoc to work for the MINERvA experiment here at Fermilab. There are many interesting and challenging questions in neutrino scattering for which I’d like to find the answers. But I’m going to start by studying neutrino cross sections.