Prize Recipient

Jerry Vigil

Jerry Vigil


Background:

As a child I was fascinated by the physical world that surrounded me and, like many children, I asked lots of questions. I used to bombard my parents with questions, asking them to explain why the sky is blue, why most trees are green while a small handful are colored with unique shades of pink and violet, and how television works. I recall that I often annoyed my parents with my insatiable curiosity, but it is this curiosity that has led me to pursue a career in physics. I want to know what drives our universe, exactly what makes it tick. I am fascinated by physics because it involves math, another subject that I enjoy, and it attempts to answer some of the most interesting yet mind-boggling questions I can imagine.

Growing up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, I was well exposed to the culture of science and engineering and I had first thought about a career in physics while in high school. I read several popular books and I became hooked. I am now very grateful to have the opportunity to study physics at Cornell University where I am able to actively participate in research. My research, which is in high-energy particle physics, takes place at the Wilson Synchrotron Laboratory located on the Cornell campus. I also had the exciting opportunity to work at Brookhaven National Laboratory during the summer of 2001, and I will be working at Columbia University throughout the summer of 2002. I enjoy my work, for the more I learn, the more fascinating I find the world that surrounds me.