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Computational physicist Neil Christensen joins Physics faculty

Neil Christensen

Neil Christensen

This fall, Neil D. Christensen will join the Physics Department. He is a computational physicist working in the subfield of physics known as quantum field theory.

Christensen received his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Stony Brook University. Subsequently, he held postdoctoral positions at Michigan State University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and most recently, the University of Pittsburgh.

Christensen’s research deals with the exploration of problems associated with the Standard Model of particle physics and in the fundamental aspects of relativistic quantum mechanics. Christensen uses a combination of analytical and computational methods to explore these problems, sometimes emphasizing one and sometimes the other. Computational power continues to grow exponentially enabling ever more complex calculations, which will create one of the next revolutions in fundamental physics.

“On the other hand, a new theoretical understanding of a problem can often far surpass even the most powerful computational model,” Christensen said.  “So, I think it is important to approach fundamental physics from both directions and find the most advantageous route at a particular time.”