Chi Nguyen

Chi Nguyen

Postdoctoral Scholar in the Division of Physics, Math and Astronomy

Hometown: Binh Duong Province, Vietnam

Date of this Interview: January 18, 2023

What do you research?

My research focuses on experimental cosmology and near-infrared instrumentation. On the instrumentation front, I characterize infrared detectors and explore novel analytical techniques to maximize their sensitivity for the upcoming SPHEREx mission. On the science front, I study the process of how galaxies formed and evolved overtime, using optical and near-infrared observations of the ensemble stellar emission across the entire history of the Universe.

Why does space inspire you?

Space is so vast and the time scales of many objects that we study in space sciences are orders of magnitudes beyond a human’s life. A photon that lands on my instrument may have traversed through space for longer than the entire history of our species, even our planet. I am in awe just thinking that in this field we can look back in time well before our own existence and learning so much about the Universe.

If you could instantly travel to any point in the universe, where would you choose to go?

I would love to be on the Voyager spacecrafts. These spacecrafts are among the most distant machines that humankind has ever constructed and who knows if they will one day encounter another form of life on some far away solar systems.

Where can you be found when you’re not conducting research?

I will be cooking and baking at home or running/jogging around Pasadena.

What book do you wish you could read for the first time again?

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.

Chi nguyen in front of the Black Brant IX sounding rocket.

Chi Nguyen stands in front of the Black Brant IX sounding rocket carrying the CIBER-2 payload, which comprises a telescope and three optical/near-infrared cameras to study galaxy formation and evolution.