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Daniel Berke

The Standard Model of physics relies on a number of quantities known as physical constants whose values cannot be calculated from any more fundamental theory but can only be measured experimentally, making measurements of increasing precision the only way to provide constraints on their possible variability. For my PhD I'll be working with Dr. Michael Murphy to use solar twins within the Milky Way to increase the precision of our measurements of the fine-structure constant alpha (which characterizes the strength of the electromagnetic force) by up to a thousandfold, potentially revealing hitherto unseen variations in alpha and providing clues towards physics beyond the Standard Model. Either that or greatly increasing our confidence in alpha's non-variability on the galactic scale.

I have a BSc in astronomy and a BA in physics from the University of Hawaii Hilo, where between graduating and coming to Swinburne I spent several years working in astronomy at the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope on Mauna Kea and the Yuan-Tseh Lee Array on Mauna Loa.

Phone   +61 3 9214 8708
Fax   +61 3 9214 8797
Office   AR310-B
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