Solid-State Defects as Nanoscale Sensors
In Norman Yao’s lab alongside Satcher Hsieh and many other fantastic folks, I work in the study of nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers. NV centers are defects in diamond where a nitrogen substitutional defect is adjacent to a lattice vacancy. Because of their strong coupling to magnetic and strain fields owing in large part to their excellent spin structure and polarizability, the NV center can be used as a nanoscale sensor of magnetic fields and strain. This allows for fine-grained observations of these quantities of interest in regimes where such measurements would be extraordinarily difficult, e.g., under the extreme pressures of a diamond anvil cell.
Dynamical Structure of the Quintuplet Cluster
I currently study the dynamical structure of the Quintuplet cluster alongside Jessica Lu and Matt Hosek. The Quintuplet cluster is a so-called young massive cluster near the center of the galaxy. Due to its proximity to the Galactic Center, the Quintuplet cluster is thought to be a good representative of star formation and dynamical evolution in such extreme environments. In these contexts, there is also immense comparative value in juxtaposing the Quintuplet with the Arches cluster, widely thought to be the Quintuplet’s younger “cousin” of sorts. Using proper motions, we identify cluster members from NIR Hubble Space Telescope data from WFC3-IR and use it to probe for signs of evolution in its structure.