PhD Plaque Ceremony - Patrick Blackstone

Monday, May 13, 2024

2:00 PM5:00 PM


Our celebration of Dr. Patrick Blackstone's successful doctoral dissertation defense, with his supervisor Dr. Emilie Passemar.

Dissertation Title: A Charged Lepton Flavor Violating Tau Decay, a Meson Pair’s Scalar Form Factors, and a Quantum-Entangled Probe


Analyses of fundamental physics interactions are commonly performed using scattering: carefully tuning a probe and target, collecting information about the products. This is used to reconstruct features of the interaction such as how energy and momentum are distributed, the identities of the particles produced, non-local correlations among the products known as quantum entanglement, and so on. In this dissertation, I examine theoretical explorations of three such investigative settings. 

First, I present an analytic investigation of the charged-lepton-number violating (CLFV) decay $\tau \to 3\mu$ and related processes. CLFV is a consequence of neutrino oscillations but is very rare, as confirmed by the results of this investigation. This reasserts the decay’s seat as a ``golden mode'' for investigating the nature of physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics. 

Second, I present a coupled-channel analysis of the scalar form factors of the pion and kaon mesons using a modern collection of phenomenological input and a recently explored numerical technique. These form factors are as-yet intractable to calculate from first principles alone, and their evaluation depends on consistency between experimental input and fundamental properties such as causality and analyticity. The importance of these form factors lies in their role in predicting features of interactions involving the pion and kaon mesons that are otherwise difficult to determine.

Lastly, I will discuss a novel type of probe that employs quantum entanglement as a means of unveiling the same within a target. Entanglement is expected to play a role in some of the confounding properties of exotic materials that exhibit strong correlations. Such a probe capable of interrogating this aspect shows promise in furthering our understanding of these properties and the phases they compose. This theoretical development mirrors an experimental demonstration of the same probe.

Please view the slideshow for more images of the ceremony

Patrick with his supervisor, Emilie Passemar in front of his plaque
Refreshments and conversation between guests
Patrick affixing his plaque with Emilie's assistance