The Office of the Vice President for Research recognizes Bruce Vogelaar, a professor of physics in the College of Science and director of the Kimballton Underground Research Facility, for his work in particle physics.
A world-renowned researcher, Vogelaar studies the nature of the ephemeral and electrically neutral subatomic particle known as the neutrino.
He launched the neutrino program at Virginia Tech to study the particles, which are among the fundamental building blocks of matter, as well as to study properties of the sun.
Relatedly, he spearheaded Kimballton Underground Research Facility.
The lab is about a half hour from Blacksburg and nestled in a mine, where the radon level and rock background are lower than in many comparable labs. The Kimballton Underground Research Facility hosts programs in solar neutrinos, nuclear reactor-monitoring detectors using neutrinos, and a variety of multidisciplinary programs in physics, geoscience, engineering and biology.
Vogelaar was elected this year as a Fellow of the American Physical Society for his contributions to neutrino physics and underground science, especially through his leadership in calibrating the Borexino detector, with the first real-time detection of 7Be solar neutrinos. His work led to a detection technique to measure the complete low-energy solar neutrino spectrum
He received his bachelor's degree from Hope College and a master's degree and Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology.