Huge congratulations to Ashwin Chopra of University College London, who successfully defended his PhD thesis on May 1st. Ashwin studied the double-beta decay of molybdenum 100 in NEMO-3, looking for evidence of Lorentz violation. Deviations from the Lorentz invariance would break some of the most fundamental laws of physics, like Einstein’s theory of relativity, or the fixed speed of light in a vacuum. Thankfully, as far as we know, these theories still hold true!

Ashwin celebrates with Dave and Ruben

The new Dr Chopra is shown here celebrating his achievement with his PhD supervisor Professor David Waters, and Professor Ruben Saakyan, also of UCL.

On top of his analysis, Ashwin played an important role in building the SuperNEMO demonstrator module. He spent six months living in Modane, working on the detector’s construction and installation, and also took part in the tracker construction process at the Mullard Space Science Lab in Surrey, UK.

During his PhD, Ashwin took the opportunity to apply the data analysis skills he gained on SuperNEMO, completing a fellowship with London-based AI company Faculty (formerly ASI Data Science). He impressed them so much, he secured a permanent position! Congratulations, Ashwin - we miss you and wish you all the best in your new career.