Bookmark and Share

Elayavalli researches at Large Hadron Collider

Raghav Kunnawalkam Elayavalli ’11 spent the summer of 2014 doing research at CERN in Switzerland, including at the organization’s famous Large Hadron Collider.

Raghav Kunnawalkam Elayavalli ’11 in front of the Compact Muon Solenoid experiment,  one of two large general-purpose particle physics detectors built on the Large Hadron Collider.

Raghav Kunnawalkam Elayavalli ’11 in front of the Compact Muon Solenoid experiment, one of two large general-purpose particle physics detectors built on the Large Hadron Collider.

Raghav began working towards his Ph.D. in physics at Rutgers University in 2013, after completing a Masters in physics at Stony Brook University.

During the summer of 2014, after his first year in his Ph.D. program, Raghav worked at CERN, in Switzerland, where he took shifts in the control room of the Large Hadron Collider and analyzed data from heavy ion collisions. By colliding heavy ions at relativistic speeds, physicists are able to study the quark-gluon plasma, which is a high-energy form of matter that existed in the universe shortly after the Big Bang.

“This is a really fascinating field that I find myself in,” Raghav said. “The relativistic heavy ion physics community is at an interesting point in its development. We have experimental results which are driving the physics and it is really exciting to come up with new measurements which can give us more information about how the quark-gluon plasma is formed and behaves during heavy ion collisions.”

While at Cornell, Raghav built his own cosmic ray muon detector in the advanced experimental lab class and completed two independent studies on string theory with Professor Derin Sherman, the latter culminating in his honors thesis.