I am a scientist working on astroparticle physics at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. My research interests cover the origin, propagation, and detection of cosmic particles at the highest energies.

Cosmic Particle Accelerators

Somewhere in the universe cosmic rays are accelerated to energies more than 100,000,000 higher than what is currently achieved at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Mechanisms how these particle can be accelerated have been under investigation for many decades, but the definitive origin of these particles remains still unclear. I contribute to solving this puzzle by extending the capabilities of state-of-the-art cosmic ray simulation software CRPropa to design and test acceleration models.

Particle Detection with the Moon

The highest energetic particles in the universe are very rare - less than one particle per square kilometer and century can be detected at Earth. Studying their origin and nature requires thus huge detectors. I am currently developing a new measurement technique that uses Earth's entire moon as detector, using that particles hitting the Moon emit a radio pulse that can be detected by radio telescopes on Earth.

Propagation of Cosmic Rays

Cosmic rays at the highest energies travel over distances of 3 - 3,000 Mpc from the site of their acceleration to Earth. Mpc stands for the distance of a million parsec which is roughly 30,000,000,000,000,000,000 km. During their propagation, cosmic rays will interact with background light, and consequently lose energy and produce secondary particles. Understanding and modelling these interactions allows to use the observation of cosmic rays and their secondaries on Earth to study the properties of the cosmic ray sources and also the space they traversed.