Hi, I'm Tom—a husband, musician, physicist, programmer, and now a data scientist working for Elder Research in Raleigh, NC. Previously, I completed a Ph.D. studying theoretical nuclear physics at the University of North Carolina. My wife and I are members of the The Summit Church in Durham, NC.
My research focused on radioactive properties of the very heaviest atomic nuclei, whose half-lives are an important puzzle piece in the search for the astrophysical origin of the elements heavier than iron. To calculate these half-lives, our group developed a program—a proton-neutron extension of the finite amplitude method—that significantly reduces the computational cost of certain half-life calculations [Phys. Rev. C, preprint]. Some in our group applied the program to calculate the properties of thousands of nuclei [Phys. Rev. C, preprint], and I extended the method to compute the half-lives of nuclei with odd numbers of protons and/or neutrons, investigating the properties of two important sets of nuclei [Phys. Rev. C, preprint]. This research ties nicely into LIGO's 2017 detection of a neutron star merger (a scenario hypothesized to form heavy elements) and subsequent electromagnetic observations attempting to determine if this merger event produced heavy elements.
Programming and analysis comprised a large fraction of my research effort; our group's application of the finite amplitude method to beta decay was written in Fortan (≥90) and parallelized across both cores (OpenMP) and nodes (MPI). Besides Fortran, I also became proficient in Python, which I used for post-processing, analysis, and plotting (using Numpy, Scipy, and Matplotlib).
I play guitars and have been fortunate to work with The Summit Church, Port City Community Church, Scotts Hill Baptist Church, Lee Hester, and others. I am tremendously blessed to be actively involved with The Summit Church and Summit Worship.
- Summit Worship, Carols (2015) [iTunes, Spotify]
- Gloria Spillers, All My Hope - Single (2012) [iTunes]
- Matt Blair, Broken and Redeemed (2008) [iTunes, Spotify]
- Aravis, Hello Someday (2007) [iTunes, Spotify]
- The Summit Church, Christmas at DPAC (2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013)
- The Summit Church Music, Messiah (Live) (2014)
- Overflow, Night of Worship (2012) [Vimeo]:
You can find me on Twitter at @tomshafer.