Caleb Broodo (’22)

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science selected University of Houston physics Ph.D. student Caleb Broodo for its prestigious Graduate Student Research Program. He is among 86 students from 31 states selected for the program which provides world-class training and access to state-of-the-art facilities and resources at DOE national laboratories.

Caleb Broodo, a second-year Ph.D. candidate and former Cougars basketball player whose research focuses on heavy ion nuclear physics, will work at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York. His proposed research project is “Extracting and interpreting the speed of sound from high-density strongly interacting matter created in ultra-central collisions.” His one-year assignment will begin in June.

“Caleb’s work is groundbreaking in that it tries to measure sound propagation to determine the state of matter,” said Rene Bellwied, M.D. Anderson Professor of Physics and Broodo’s mentor at UH. “This has never been done at the temperatures and densities that can be achieved through particle collisions near the speed of light.”

At Brookhaven, Broodo will work with Lijuan Ruan as his collaborating scientist.

“I’m excited to investigate the properties of extreme matter created in high-energy collisions through the speed of sound,” Broodo said. “Such a parameter has the potential to enhance our working knowledge of the physics of extreme matter, ultimately giving us new insights into the behavior of the interior of neutron stars and the universe itself just microseconds after the Big Bang.”

Broodo completed his bachelor’s degree at UH in 2022 with a major in electrical engineering and a minor in physics.

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