— Education

  • 10/2015–08/2018 : Ph.D. in Physics, Rice University
    • Thesis Defense, August 7th, 2018, Awarded December 31
    • Advisor: Frank Geurts
    • GPA: 4.04
  • 08/2009–10/2013 : B.S. in Physics, Minor in Mathematics, University Of Florida
    • Advisor: Ivan Furic.
    • GPA: 3.84

— Research Experience

2020 — Current : Goldhaber Distinguished Fellowship

Brookhaven National Lab (Center for Frontiers in Nuclear Science)

2018 — 2020 : Postdoctoral Research Associate

Brookhaven National Lab (Center for Frontiers in Nuclear Science) & Shandong University

Observation of the Breit-Wheeler process and discovery of vacuum magnetic birefringence : The Breit-Wheeler process is the creation of matter and anti-matter(an electron and positron) from the collision of light quanta. Vacuum birefringence is a fundamental prediction of QED first formulated by Euler and Heisenberg in 1936.

  • First direct measurement of the linear Breit-Wheeler process (photon-photon fusion into an electron-positron pair)
  • Discovery observation of vacuum birefringence at $6.7\sigma$ significance through measurement of the angular modulation of $e^+e^-$ pairs produced in ultra-peripheral heavy-ion collisions.
  • Awarded best talk at Quark Matter 2019, winning the Elsevier Nuclear Physics AYoung Scientist Award
  • Recently submitted, ongoing peer-review

Measurements of inclusive $J/\psi$ suppression in Au+Au collisions at $ \sqrt{ s } $ = 200 GeV through the dimuon channel at STAR

  • First physics result from the Muon Telescope Detector (MTD) upgrade at STAR
  • Recently published in Physics Letters B.

Spectra, Flow, and Interferometry results from Au+Au collisions at $\sqrt{s_{NN}}$= 4.5 GeV

  • First physics result from the STAR Fixed Target program.
  • In preparation for submission to Physical Review C - in final collaboration review before submission.

Leadership Roles

2018 — Current : Software Coordinator, STAR Forward Upgrade

  • Develop detector geometries, simulations, custom tracking algorithms, and data reconstruction software for the suite of detectors in the STAR forward upgrade (silicon and gas chamber tracking detectors, electromagnetic and hadronic calorimetry).
  • Manage tasks and effort among members of the forward upgrade team including students from various institutions.

2018 — Current : Convener, STAR Machine Learning Focus Group

  • Wrote tutorials for integrating machine learning techniques with STAR (ROOT-based) data analysis
  • Organize biannual workshops and meeting on machine learning
  • Mentor students within STAR from various institutions that are working on projects involving machine learning techniques

2013 — 2018 : Ph.D. Student, Rice University :

Muon Identification using Machine Learning & Deep Neural Networks
Developed novel applications of Deep Neural Networks for identifying particles in High energy p+p and A+A Collisions.

  • Detailed comparison of Boosted-Decision Trees, Shallow and Deep Neural Networks.
  • Demonstrated significant improvement over all previous techniques for identifying muon with the STAR detector.
  • In preparation for submission to Nuclear Instruments and Methods A.

Study of $\mu^+\mu^-$ production in p+p and p+Au Collisions at $\sqrt{s}$ = 200 GeV

  • First measurement of the $\mu^+\mu^-$ invariant mass spectra over a wide range with the STAR detector.
  • Developed novel machine learning techniques for measuring muon purity in data.
  • Best poster award at Quark Matter 2018, plenary flash talk.
  • Presented at Hard and Electromagnetic Probes 2018 and published in Nuclear Physics A.

Study of Jet-Quenching Effects at $\sqrt{s_{NN}} = $ 7.7, 11.5, 14.5, 19.6, 27, 39, and 62.4 GeV One of the primary goals of the RHIC Beam Energy Scan program was to demonstrate the turn-off of key QGP signatures at low $\sqrt{s_{NN}}$ energies. This work demonstrates the turn-off of jet-quenching at energies below $\sqrt{s_{NN}}$ = 14.5 GeV in Au+Au Collisions.

  • Demonstrated the presence of medium-induced energy loss down to $\sqrt{s_{NN}}$ = 27 GeV through the measurement of the Nuclear Modification factor (R$_{CP}$) of identified $\pi^{+(-)}$, K$^{+(-)}$, $p/\bar{p}$.
  • Published in Physical Review Letters

Ph.D. Thesis : A systematic Measurement of $\mu^+\mu^-$ Production in p+p and p+Au Collisions at $\sqrt{s_{NN}} = $ 200 GeV with the STAR Detector

— Awards and Honors

  • Nuclear Physics A Young Scientist Award, Quark Matter
  • RHIC & AGS Thesis Award runner-up, RHIC & AGS Users Meeting
  • Chuoke Award, Rice University, 2016
  • Sam & Helen Worden Fellowship 2013 - 2014
  • Naval Office of Advance Research, Scholarship, 2009 -> 2013
  • Congressional Medal of Merit, US Congressman Bill Posey
  • 4 Under 40 Finalist, Community Leadership, LEAD Brevard
  • Ying Grand Award & Ying Scholar, 2006, 2009

— Selected Publications

Selected publications for which I am a principle author, for an exhaustive list of publications see my Google Scholar profile

  • Wangmei Zha, J. D. Brandenburg, Lijuan Ruan, Zebo Tang Exploring the double-slit interference with linearly polarized photons arXiv:2006.12099 [hep-ph]

  • J. D. Brandenburg, Wei Li, Lijuan Ruan, et al. Acoplanarity of QED pairs accompanied by nuclear dissociation in ultra-peripheral heavy ion collisions Submitted arXiv:2006.07365 [hep-ph]

  • J. D. Brandenburg, STAR Collaboration, et al.“Observation of the Breit-Wheeler Process :Converting Light into Matter”. Submitted, arXiv:1910.12400 [nucl-ex]

  • J. D. Brandenburg, STAR Collaboration,et al. “Flow and Interferometry results from Au+Au collisions at sqrt(s_NN) = 4.5 GeV”. Submitted to Physical Review C arXiv:2007.14005 [nucl-ex]

  • Wangmei Zha, J. D. Brandenburg, Zebo Tang, Zhangbu Xu “Initial transverse-momentum broadening of Breit-Wheeler process in relativistic heavy-ion collisions”. Physics Letters B800, (2020) 135089 doi:10.1016/j.physletb.2019.135089

  • J. D. Brandenburg, STAR Collaboration “Measurements of inclusive $J/\psi$ suppression in Au+Au collisions at sqrt(s_NN) = 200 GeV through the dimuon channel at STAR”. Physics Letters B 797 (2019) 134917, doi:10.1016/j.physletb.2019.134917

  • J.D. Brandenburg “Muon Identification using Neural Networks With the Muon TelescopeDetector at STAR”. Nuclear Physics A 982 (2019) 192–94 doi:10.1016/j.nuclphysa.2018.10.036

  • J.D. Brandenburg, STAR Collaboration, et al. (Corresponding Author) “Beam Energy Dependence of Jet-Quenching Effects in Au+Au Collisions at sqrt(s_NN) = 7.7, 11.5, 14.5, 19.6,27, 39, and 62.4 GeV” Phys. Rev. Lett 121 (2018) 032301 doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.032301

  • J.D. Brandenburg “Measurement of the mu+mu- Invariant Mass Spectra in p+p and p+Au Collisions at sqrt(s_NN) = 200 GeV with the Muon Telescope Detector at STAR”. Proceedings of Science, 345 (2019), 177 doi:10.22323/1.345.0177

  • J.D. Brandenburg, STAR Collaboration, et al. “Spectra results from Au+Au collisions at sqrt(s_NN) = 4.5 GeV”. In preparation for submission to Physical Review C

  • J.D. Brandenburg, STAR collaboration, “Dilepton Production in p+p, Au+Au collisions at sqrt(s_NN) = 200 GeV and U+U collisions at sqrt(s_NN) = 193 GeV”. Nucl. Phys. A967 (2017) 676 doi:10.1016/j.nuclphysa.2017.05.093

  • J.D. Brandenburg, STAR collaboration, “Identified Light and Strange Hadron Spectra at sqrt(s_NN) = 14.5 GeV with STAR at RHIC BES I”. Journal of Physics: Conference Series 736 (2016) doi:10.1088/1742-6596/736/1/012005

  • J.D. Brandenburg, STAR collaboration, “Identified Light and Strange Hadron Spectra at sqrt(s_NN) = 14.5 and Systematic Study of Baryon/Meson Effect at Intermediate Transverse Momentum with STAR at RHIC BES I”. Nucl. Phys. A956 (2016) 445 doi:10.1016/j.nuclphysa.2016.02.068

  • W.J. Llope, J.D. Brandenburg et al., “The STAR Vertex Position Detector”. Nuclear Instruments and Methods A759 (2014) 23 doi:10.1016/j.nima.2014.04.080 arxiv:1403.6855

  • J. D. Brandenburg, for the STAR Collaboration, “Exploring QCD Matter at High Baryon Density”. Journal of Physics : Conference Series, arxiv:2005.12682

  • J. D. Brandenburg, for the STAR Collaboration, “Measurement of the $\mu^+\mu^-$ Invariant Mass Spectra in p+p and p+Au Collisions at sqrt(s_NN) = 200 GeV with the Muon Telescope Detector at STAR”. Journal of Physics : Conference Series 345 doi:10.22323/1.345.0177 arxiv:???