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Zeynep Isvan

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Zeynep Isvan

I was born and raised in Istanbul and studied physics in college at Boğaziçi University. After graduation I moved to Pittsburgh to get my Ph.D. at the University of Pittsburgh. I discovered neutrino physics a few years into the Ph.D. program and joined the MINOS experiment at Fermilab where I am finishing my dissertation at the moment.

It's an exciting time to be a neutrino physicist. Studying this elusive particle for over 50 years has improved our understanding of many of its properties while many more remain unknown. In the last two decades we have seen evidence that neutrinos can transition between different kinds, indicating they must have mass. MINOS is one of the several experiments responsible for making these measurements and I took part in measuring properties of its antiparticle: the anti-neutrino. We don't yet have precise measurements of the complete picture explaining these transitions, nor do we know the masses of neutrinos. Which neutrino is heaviest is another unknown, along with the mechanism through which neutrinos acquire their mass. There's a lot to figure out about neutrinos in the next decade and I'll keep exploring the world of this tiny particle as a postdoctoral researcher next.

When I'm not looking for particles we can't see or writing about them, I'm most likely to be found running. If I have a whole day to spare I'm most likely riding my motorcycle, Pebbles, to no particular destination.