CD hires first postdoc in computational physics
|Chong Shik Park will work on theoretical and numerical models for the Mu2e experiment.
For the first time, Fermilab’s Computing Division has hired a postdoc to do R&D in computational accelerator physics.
Chong Shik Park, who recently earned his Ph.D. from Indiana University, started work on April 26.
“The future of the lab depends on having young people with energy and fresh ideas,” said the Computing Division’s Panagiotis Spentzouris, who hired Park.
Park attended a class Spentzouris taught at the U.S. Particle Accelerator School in 2007. When Spentzouris heard that Park was looking for a postdoc position at Fermilab, he made it his mission to find a place for him at the laboratory.
“I knew the topic of his research, and it was very relevant to Mu2e beam extraction and Project X,” Spentzouris said.
Park moved to the United States from South Korea in order to take advantage of the large accelerator physics group at Indiana University. He studied the physics of electromagnetic space charge effects, or how particles in a beam interact with one another when packed tightly together.
“When the particles repel each other, all the good work you’re doing with the magnets can blow apart,” Spentzouris said.
The theoretical and numerical models Park and his colleagues create allow scientists to study how to design an accelerator to minimize these effects.
“To build the real accelerator costs a lot of money,” Park said. “But you can use simulations with computers if you want to test different ideas.”
At Fermilab, Park will lend his expertise to the beam extraction design for the Mu2e experiment. Spentzouris said he chose Mu2e because it is a challenging, high-priority project that is interesting technically.
“I have a lot of things to learn,” Park said. “My previous work focused on electrons, and at Fermilab it’s protons. I’m very excited to learn the new physics.”
-- Kathryn Grim