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Yonit Hochberg: It's Incredible to Wake up & Think About Questions I'm Most Curious About
Date: 2022-01-11
Source: WLA
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Q & A with WLA

Q: What is your early inspiration of doing science?
A: As a child, I was always interested in numbers and in nature. Over the years this grew into a curiosity about the basics of how things work, how they evolve, and what governs it all. This naturally paved the way to research in fundamental physics, where we ask the most basic questions about our world. In many ways I feel that my field of research ‘chose’ me ---it’s just the type of questions I was always interested in asking.

Q: What is the best advice that you have received?
A: My sisters and I were raised with the philosophy to reach for the stars, whatever that might be for us as individuals. This nurturing environment allowed us each to find our own path in life and follow our passions, with unwavering faith that we can succeed.

Q: What is your greatest achievement so far?
A: Dark matter is the greatest mystery of modern day physics. While it makes up more than 85% of the matter in the universe, its identity remains unknown. What is it made of? How does it interact? And why is it so dark? I work on new theoretical ideas for the particle identity of dark matter, and propose novel methods to search for it in the laboratory. The work interfaces particle physics and quantum sensing, shedding a light on dark matter.

Q: What is your research goal?
A: As a theoretical particle physicist, my research focuses on the most fundamental question in nature: What are we made of? How did we get here? Why is our world made of matter and not of anti-matter? What is the dark matter? Why is the weak force so much stronger than gravity? I want to uncover the basic building blocks of nature from which everything emerges.

Q: What is the best part of your job?
A: It is incredible to get to wake up every morning and spend the day thinking about the questions I am most curious about.