Feature Story

Passionate about particle physics: Presentations from four Fermilab women

DOE/Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

This International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we feature four fabulous women at the U.S. Department of Energy's Fermilab who are pushing at the frontiers of particle physics. Kirsty Duffy, Jessica Esquivel, Anna Grassellino and Jen Raaf shared with the world their passion for science over the last year through presentations, interviews or talks. Learn about them, their work and the wonderful world of physics:

Kirsty Duffy

Fermilab scientist Kirsty Duffy studies mysterious particles called neutrinos on two different experiments: MicroBooNE and the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, both hosted by Fermilab. A Lederman fellow at Fermilab, she's active in sharing the wonders of particle physics with the public, giving tours and organizing outreach events. Duffy is currently host of the just-launched, light-hearted but seriously sciencey Fermilab video series "Even Bananas."

Check out the first installment of "Even Bananas," hosted by Kirsty Duffy.

Jessica Esquivel

Jessica Esquivel is a Fermilab postdoctoral research associate investigating short-lived particles named muons for the Muon g-2 experiment. She's also an American Association for the Advancement of Science IF/THEN ambassador, a tutor and science communicator. Her interests go far beyond muons; she shares her love of neutrinos, astrophysics and sci-fi with other science fans. You can find out all about Esquivel in her American Geosciences Institute profile, where she talks about about particle physics research, writing a sci-fi program and her own science journey.

Browse Esquivel's American Geosciences Institute page.

Anna Grassellino

Named Woman of the Year by Italy's D La Repubblica magazine, Fermilab senior scientist Anna Grassellino is the director of the National Superconducting Quantum Materials and Systems Center at Fermilab. In August 2020, the National SQMS Center was one of five such centers established to bring about transformational advances in quantum information science in the U.S. As director of SQMS, Grassellino is a leader in the field of quantum computing and sensing.

Watch Grassellino's overview of the SQMS Center.

Jen Raaf

In early 2020, Fermilab neutrino scientist Jen Raaf was part of a team of laboratory staff who burned the midnight oil to bring a new ventilator design from concept to approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Along with her colleagues, Raaf, who studies neutrinos on MicroBooNE and DUNE, showed how cooperative science can be, crossing disciplines and creating connections. She gave an online talk about the experience as part of the Fermilab Arts and Lectures at Home series.

Watch Raaf talk about how particle physics might just save your life.


Fermilab is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit energy.gov/science.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.