Scott Moroch is an experimental physicist pursuing research at the intersection of atomic, nuclear and particle physics.
When people think of particle physics, they usually picture massive machines that accelerate particles to the speed of light. Moroch — currently a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, working in the lab of Ronald Fernando Garcia Ruiz — does things on a smaller scale, designing tabletop experiments for investigating the most fundamental laws of nature, which gave rise to our universe and the elements around us. In particular, he is interested in advancing the frontier of precision physics experiments through the development of new techniques in the fields of radioactive isotopes, ion trapping, laser spectroscopy and quantum technologies.
Moroch was born in New York and raised in northern New Jersey before attending the University of Maryland, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in physics. His interest in physics was sparked at a very early age. As a teenager, he built a tabletop nuclear fusion reactor (“Farnsworth Fusor”), a device that fuses deuterium into helium, which is the same process that drives every star in the universe. As a senior in high school, he designed his own particle accelerator, which led him to pursue research on particle beam dynamics as an undergraduate. At the University of Maryland, Moroch led the development of a cryogenic Penning trap for studying decay-rate perturbations in highly charged radioisotopes.
Moroch was awarded a 2020 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship for his undergraduate research and is currently supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship. In his free time, he enjoys rock climbing, hiking and building particle accelerators for at-home nuclear physics experiments.