PhD Plaque Ceremony - Brendan Reed

Friday, June 23, 2023

4:00 PM5:00 PM


Our celebration of Dr. Brendan Reed's successful doctoral dissertation defense, with his supervisor, Dr. Charles Horowitz.

Dissertation Title: Neutron Stars and Neutron Skins: A Crossroads in Nuclear Astrophysics

Abstract: The holy grail of nuclear physics is the nuclear equation of state. It governs the behavior of nuclear matter at a large variety of densities and proton-neutron asymmetries. In particular for this thesis, I will be focusing on the equation of state for neutron-rich matter, which is perhaps more interesting than symmetric or proton-rich matter because of how much less well it is constrained. The observation of neutron-rich skins in neutron-rich nuclei, such as the doubly-magic \lead, have helped constrain the equation of state near saturation density $\rho_0\approx0.16$ fm$^{-3}$. At higher density, neutron stars are prime real estate for observing the neutron-rich equation of state and help us infer important information about the behavior of matter in the most extreme environments. There have been several new developments in constraining the neutron-rich sector of the equation of state at both high and low densities. This includes the spectacular gravitational wave event GW170817, which saw the collision of two $1.4\msun$ neutron stars in gravitational radiation, and the PREX-2 and CREX neutron-skin experiments. In this thesis, I will detail my contribution to the field of nuclear astrophysics and how they pertain to constraining the equation of state of nuclear matter. This will require a brief overview of the equation of state and the structure of neutron stars before delving into the specific equations and theory behind my works. After which I give my published works in each topic of my thesis.

Please view the slideshow for more images of the ceremony

Brendan affixing his plaque to the wall
Brendan and his girlfriend with the plaque
Brendan and Dr. Horowitz shaking hands
Dr. Horowitz giving a speech
Refreshments served