Congratulations to Scott Griffiths for successfully defending his PhD dissertation on "Exploring the Limits of Lorentz Invariance with VERITAS Gamma-Ray Observations of Markarian 421."
"For his thesis, Scott used an array of ground-based gamma-ray telescopes, the Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System or VERITAS, to study the highest energy photons detected from the jets of a supermassive black hole called Markarian 421. Some physical theories that go beyond the standard model suggest the possibility that Lorentz invariance might be violated at energies near the Planck scale. Even though the photons detected by VERITAS are at much lower energies, the cumulative effect of Lorentz invariance violation, in this case an energy dependence of the speed of light, could be observable when integrated over astronomical distances. Scott investigated techniques to probe Lorentz invariance violation using VERITAS. Scott also designed a novel auto-collimator, an instrument used to measure angular alignment over long distances, that will be used in a next generation gamma-ray telescope."
— Philip Kaaret, PhD advisor
Dr. Griffiths has accepted a postdoctoral position at the Institut de Fisica d'Altes Energies in Barcelona, Spain.
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