U.S. Department of Energy

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Brent VanDevender

Dr. Brent VanDevender
Dr. Brent VanDevender

Dr. Brent VanDevender is an experimental nuclear and particle physicist. His research interests are divided between basic science and applications that benefit from his nuclear physics and radiation detection background. His primary basic science interest is in the absolute mass of the neutrino and its implications for the evolution of large-scale structure in the universe, and the fundamental symmetries of theories that could supersede our current Standard Model of Particle Physics. Applied physics interests are focused on the safeguards and accountancy of fissile material in the civilian nuclear fuel cycle, and the detection of nuclear explosions in violation of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty. 

Dr. VanDevender has a B.S. (1996), M.A. (2001), and PhD. (2006), all in Physics, from the University of Virginia.  Graduate work on the PIBETA experiment at the Paul Scherrer institute in Switzerland was focused on searches for physics beyond the Standard Model in rare pion and muon decays.  As a postdoc at the University of Washington Center for Experimental Nuclear Physics and Astrophysics, Dr. VanDevender worked on the final phase of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) experiment, for which he shared the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics with the members of SNO and other experimental collaborations responsible for the discovery of neutrino oscillations.  He also worked on the Karlsruhe Tritium Neutrino (KATRIN) experiment, which was his introduction to the measurement of neutrino mass by the so-called tritium endpoint method.  

Dr. VanDevender is a founding member of the Project 8 collaboration, which is an effort to produce a tritium endpoint experiment with sensitivity beyond that of KATRIN.  Project 8 is his primary research interest since coming to PNNL in 2010, and was the basis of a DOE Office of Science Early Career Award in 2015.

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