I am designing and constructing a large-area, high-efficiency neutron detector array (the Modular Neutron Array MoNA) in order to study breakup reactions of neutron-rich nuclei. This work involves customizing and running complex simulation programs that tell me what detector configuration works best. For this work, I take into account how the detector will be used in future experiments. We also do experiments to verify the results of the simulations. The detector array is being constructed in collaboration with several undergraduate schools and with undergraduate students who work in the assembly of detector components. I am interested in loosely bound nuclear systems and the special phenomena that one can observe in these nuclei. In my PhD thesis, I investigated halo nuclei in breakup reactions at relativistic energies. Halo nuclei consist of a nuclear core with normal matter density and a large halo with very low density. With the new neutron array, we will be able to extend the study of breakup reactions to complete measurements of all breakup fragments.
Besides my work in nuclear physics, I also participate in the Science Olympiad, where I was a state supervisor for the Scrambler competition in 2001.