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    I am an astronomer, cosmologist, and data scientist, currently a NSF funded Assistant Research Scientist at the UC San Diego Center for Astrophysics & Space Sciences (CASS) and a Research Affiliate in the MIT STS Program. I work on several theoretical and observational projects to devise and implement fun experiments that leverage cosmology to test fundamental physics, including novel tests of quantum theory using with astronomical observations, searches for exotic new physics with optical polarization studies of distant galaxies, as well as Infrared and Optical studies of Supernovae with ground and space based telescopes to measure the expansion history of the universe, cosmic acceleration, and dark energy. I enjoy exploring fascinating scientific questions at the intersection between observational astronomy, astrophysics, data analysis, and the philosophy of science through research, science writing, art, animation, public outreach, and science media engagement. For more, see my Bio, Resume, and CV.
Testing Quantum Mechanics With Astronomical Observations
   My colleagues and I at MIT, Harvey Mudd, NASA/JPL/Caltech, UCSD, the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, and the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information in Vienna are currently developing and implementing a series of experiments that test quantum mechanics and entanglement with the help of astronomical observations. Specifically, we are aiming to close one of the last remaining loopholes in tests of Bell's inequality that could allow a so-called local hidden variable theory to mimic the predictions of quantum mechanics. To do so, we would combine a standard Earth-based experiment (a so-called Bell test) with entangled photons, but use real-time astronomical observations of distant stars in our own galaxy, distant galaxies like quasars, or patches of the cosmic microwave background, to essentially let the universe decide how to set up our experiment instead of using standard quantum random number generators, as in state of the art experiments, such as this one. For popular level discussions of our project, see here and here. Or see these technical level papers on our proposed Cosmic Bell experiment and the required theoretical cosmology background needed to chose pairs of cosmic sources whose past light cones have not intersected in the past 13.8 billion years, since the end of any early-universe inflation. See this paper for some of the theoretical motivation for doing an experiment to close the ``freedom-of-choice'' loophole in entanglement tests, and see this paper on other relevant foundational quantum experiments, including tests of wave/particle duality, where astronomical photons could be used to choose measurement settings. Finally, see here for a paper on our first successful experiment using Milky Way stars to choose Bell test detector settings, and our paper which was the first to choose Bell test detector settings with light from High Redshift Quasars.
Physical Review A, Vol. 97, Issue 4, id. 042120, Apr 24 2018 (arXiv:1706.02276) (DOI) [Featured in Physics]
Physical Review Letters, Vol. 118, Issue 6, id. 060401, February 7 2017 (arXiv:1611.06985 | PDF) (DOI) (Supplemental Material) [Featured in Physics, Editors' Suggestion]
Physical Review Letters, Vol. 112, Issue 11, id. 110405, March 18 2014 (arXiv:1310.3288) (DOI)
Physical Review D, Vol. 88, Issue 4, id. 044038, August 21 2013 (arXiv:1305.3943) (DOI)

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University of California, San Diego UCSD Center for Astrophysics & Space Sciences Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT Center for Theoretical Physics Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information, Vienna Harvard University Astronomy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics UC Berkeley Astronomy National Science Foundation National Aernautics & Space Administration
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University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive
CASS, M/C 0424, SERF Bldg. 334, La Jolla, CA 92093-0424, USA (858) 534-5416

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under NSF Award #1056580 (2012-2014) through an NSF Science, Technology, and Society Postdoctoral Fellowship at MIT and the NSF INSPIRE program via NSF Award #1541160 (2015-2019).

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