Faculty Profile: Reed Essick

Reed Essick

Assistant Professor, Department of Physics and Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics

Reed Essick.Reed Essick is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Physics, cross appointed to the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, which provides a unique environment to focus on research with the best postdocs in the world. He is excited to learn from their diverse expertise and backgrounds.

Essick studies many aspects of experimental gravity, from data acquisition, quality and calibration to searches for astrophysical signals and their interpretation. Most recently, he has used neutron stars to study multiple pillars of modern physics: nuclear physics and strong gravity. His work on the equation of state of the densest matter in the universe connects nuclear experiment and theory with gravitational-wave, x-ray and radio observations.

He is also interested in tests of alternate theories of gravity with catalogs of gravitational wave events. Essick applies modern statistical frameworks to these questions, with an emphasis on nonparametric inference and scalable hierarchical Bayesian inference.

He obtained a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering with a second major in physics from Washington University in St. Louis in 2011. He then completed a PhD in physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology within the MIT LIGO Lab, supervised by Erik Katsavounidis and Professor Nevin N. Weinberg. Essick was a Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics (KICP) Fellow at the University of Chicago from 2017 to 2021, after which he was a Senior Postdoctoral Fellow at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics from 2021 to 2022. A list of Essick’s recent publications is available online.

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