Published: June 29, 2018

MSU researcher earns prestigious DOE award

Contact(s): Karen King Facility for Rare Isotope Beams office: 517-908-7262

An MSU researcher has received a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science Early Career Research Program award.

Jaideep Singh, an MSU assistant professor of physics at the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, was selected by the Office of Nuclear Physics to receive funding for his proposal, “Towards a Next Generation Search for Time-Reversal Violation Using Optically Addressable Nuclei in Cryogenic Solids.” Singh has a joint appointment in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

The program, in its ninth year, awards financial support to scientists from universities and DOE national labs to help advance their research. This year, 84 U.S. scientists were selected for the honor.

Singh’s research examines how certain rare atoms with a pear-shaped core (nucleus) have unmatched sensitivity to new kinds of forces between subatomic particles that are not the same when the arrow of time is reversed. Such forces are believed to be responsible for all of the visible matter in the observable universe. These rare atoms, some for the first time, will be produced in large numbers at FRIB.

In anticipation, he is developing a very sensitive laser-based clock using more common atoms implanted inside of a transparent sheet of frozen neon at bitterly cold temperatures (-452 degrees F). Implantation into a solid is potentially an effective way to efficiently capture and repeatedly probe the small number of rare atoms, such as radium and protactinium. The potential sensitivity of this new approach could be at least a few hundred times greater than the current leading experiment.

“I was speechless when I learned of my Early Career Award,” Singh said. “It will accelerate my research program by about 15 years. The award is a recognition of the world-class scientific support at the laboratory as well as the unique scientific opportunities of FRIB.”

Singh earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from the California Institute of Technology, and earned his doctorate in physics from the University of Virginia. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Argonne National Laboratory and a postdoctoral research scientist at Technische Universitaet Muenchen in Germany. In 2014, he joined MSU as an assistant professor in experimental nuclear science and began his research at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory.

MSU is establishing FRIB as a new scientific user facility for the Office of Nuclear Physics in the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. Under construction on campus and operated by MSU, FRIB will enable scientists to make discoveries about the properties of rare isotopes in order to better understand the physics of nuclei, nuclear astrophysics, fundamental interactions, and applications for society, including in medicine, homeland security and industry.

Jaideep Singh, MSU assistant professor of physics at the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams. Courtesy of MSU.

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