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Emily Grace

Emily Grace

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  • Postdoctoral Researcher
Physics Department
104 Davey Lab, MB 46
University Park, PA 16802
Email: emilygrace [ AT ] psu [ DOT ] edu


  1. PhD in Physics - Royal Holloway University of London
  2. MSci in Secondary Education - Indiana University
  3. BSci in Physics - Indiana University
  4. BA in Psychology - Bethel College (Indiana)


I am physicist and educator with a diverse academic background. I work to integrate my experience and training to bring an innovative approach to post secondary physics education. As a physics researcher, I have extensive experience in detector hardware design and development. 

I started my academic career by studying psychology at Bethel College. I then applied these skills to the business sector in sales before returning to my education. I studied at Indiana University where I obtained a B.S. in physics and an M.S. in education simultaneously. My master thesis focused on the relationship between popular media representations of scientists and science anxiety. I was involved in doing research in dark matter detector development for the COUPP and PICASSO research collaborations. My research involved developing improved acoustic transducers for superheated fluid, bubble chamber dark matter detectors. After graduating from IU, I spent 8 months as a full time researcher at the Dioclese Extreme Light Laboratory in Lincoln, NE. There I developed techniques using interferometry and non-linear optics to measure the densities of supersonic gas jets used in laser based plasma particle accelerators. I then went on to pursue graduate studies in astroparticle physics at Royal Holloway University of London. My graduate work focused on understanding the optical properties of the scintillation light of argon for use in low background dark matter and neutrino detectors.

I joined Penn State in 2017 where I continuing my research in the field of dark matter, this time using liquid xenon.

My external interests include advocating for the advancement of women in the STEM fields, developing new methods of science communication, and studying philosophy of science.

Selected Publications

A list of my publications can be found on Research Gate.

Research Interests

I work for the LZ dark matter collaboration. I specialize in hardware and experiment design.