Dark matters: Physicist Laura Manenti joins Real Scientists!

Strap yourselves in as we get physical this week with dark matter and neutrino-physicist Laura Manenti (@LallinaManenti). Laura is a postdoctoral researcher at NYU Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. She studies particle physics, with a focus on neutrino and dark matter physics. Laura graduated with bachelors and masters degreea in Physics at the Universita` degli Studi di Milano. She received her PhD from University College London in the UK before moving to the UAE last year. As always, we asked Laura some questions about her work…

How did you end up in particle physics, and why?

I wanted to be a lawyer, but then I thought it was an oversubscribed market. I got fascinated by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle during my last year of high school and thought “let’s give physics a try”. And now, more than 10 years later, here I am. I love particle physics because it studies Nature at its elementary level.

Tell us about what you’re working on now?

A mini LEGO-Laura stands next to a LEGO 'Liquid Argon detector'

A mini LEGO-Laura stands next to a LEGO ‘Liquid Argon detector’

I mostly work in the lab. I’m an hardware person, but I do not dislike data analysis. I’m currently working for the protoDUNE dual-phase experiment at CERN, XENON at LNGS in Italy, and on various small projects (among which a mini satellite) here in Abu Dhabi.

Why should non-physicists care about your work?

Because it’s cool! Particle physics is fascinating. Unfortunately many people get scared by physics (“I’m not intelligent enough”, “Physics is for genius only” etc. etc) and cannot appreciate its beauty.

What do you outside of lab work?

I work full time, but I’m also a full time mother (and a full time wife). I want to be good at my work and I also want to excel as a mother. I love cooking. Baking is my favourite thing. In my little spare time I make YouTube videos about physics and my work.

Please welcome Laura to Real Scientists!


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