Dr. Nathan T. Brewer is a Post-doctoral Researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) working on superheavy nucleosynthesis and other experiments. In his native Columbus Ohio, he engaged with the public as a bilingual science demonstrator at the Center of Science and Industry. Due to his passionate interest in the powerfully strange world of quantum mechanics, he pursued and was granted a BS in Physics from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee (2008) and a PhD from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee (2013). He now performs basic science research in nuclear physics at facilities in Russia (JINR, Dubna), Japan (RIKEN, Wako-shi) and the US(ORNL, National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory).
He pursues understanding the physics necessary to describe the extremes of nuclear matter. The Russian and Japanese collaborations that he is a part of pursue synthesis of new radioactive isotopes which have extreme numbers of protons and neutrons, such as element 118, oganesson (Brewer et al., Phys. Rev. C 98, 024317), the heaviest atomic nucleus yet made. His other research probes what happens when nuclear isotopes are either neutron rich or proton rich. He is excited for the future, because the newest accelerator facilities are opening landmark access to study new elements and new isotopes which play a role in astrophysical synthesis processes and reveals the forces at play for the building blocks of our universe.
Dr. Brewer is passionate about education, mentorship, and collaboration. He is absolutely thrilled with every mentorship experience that he has had, including the American Physical Society’s Adopt-a-Physicist Program, working with high-school students and colleagues. As an executive committee member of the Oak Ridge Post-doctoral Association, he supports his fellow post-docs. He pursues learning at every available opportunity, winning a 2018 Google Developer Challenge Scholarship.