University Park, Pa. -- Tyce DeYoung, assistant professor of physics at Penn State, has received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The CAREER award is the most prestigious NSF award in support of junior faculty members who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent teaching, and the integration of education and research. The award provides five years of financial support.
DeYoung conducts research in particle astrophysics, seeking to understand the sources of high-energy cosmic radiation. The CAREER award will support his work on the High Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) gamma-ray observatory, which he is carrying out in conjunction with colleagues at the University of Maryland, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and a number of other institutions in the United States and Mexico. The gamma rays observed by HAWC will provide information about extremely energetic objects in our galaxy, such as supernova remnants, microquasars, and pulsar-wind nebulae. HAWC data also will be used to probe high-energy emissions from extragalactic objects such as gamma-ray bursts and active galactic nuclei, which are suspected to be sources of the highest-energy cosmic rays.
DeYoung also is interested in using high-energy neutrinos to provide a complementary view of these extragalactic objects. He presently is working on the IceCube neutrino observatory, which is under construction at the South Pole. IceCube uses photodetectors sunk into the Antarctic ice cap to detect Cherenkov radiation produced when high-energy elementary particles called neutrinos interact with atomic nuclei in the ice. These neutrinos, combined with data from HAWC and other instruments such as the Swift Gamma-ray Burst Explorer and the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, will give a more complete picture of the nature of these astrophysical objects.
DeYoung is a member of the American Physical Society and the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. Prior to joining the faculty at Penn State in 2006, he was a research associate in the Penn State Department of Physics from 2005 to 2006. He was at the University of Maryland as an assistant research scientist from 2004 to 2005 and as a postdoctoral researcher from 2003 to 2004. He was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California's Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics from 2001 to 2003. DeYoung received a doctoral degree in physics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 2001, where he held a University of Wisconsin Prize Fellowship and a William F. Vilas Fellowship. He earned a bachelor's degree in physics in 1996 from Grinnell College, where he received the H. George Apostle prize in physics.