Eduardo is the co-chair of the Theory and Combined Probes working group. He also spends a lot of time thinking about galaxy clusters, and using clusters to study dark energy. He has been recently lured by the siren song of BAO measurements, so he’s learning a little bit about those as well.
We asked Eduardo a few more questions — here’s what he had to say:
What is your favorite part about being a scientist?
I get payed to think about dark energy, which is totally cool, but utterly useless. That is *amazing*. I love that we can work on things as esoteric as this, simply because we as a human race think these are questions worth answering, even if it is unclear whether they will ever have any practical bearing on our lives. The fact that we love understanding for understanding’s sake just blows me away.
What motivates / inspires you?
The “cool idea high”. A big, big part of research is being stuck not knowing how to do X, or solve problem Y. For especially hard problems you can be stuck for days, weeks, even months. And then, you’ll have a cool idea to break through the fog, and it’s very exciting to test it and see whether it works or not. The satisfaction from overcoming such problems is tremendous, and can be a lot of fun.
Do you have any hobbies or play any sports?
I used to do a fair bit of swing dancing and blues dancing. Less so now that I’m faculty: time has compressed! But it’s still a lot of fun when I can make it out.
What is your favorite book, movie, and/or TV show?
Kind of a tough question. Depends on the mood and type of book, no? I love Harry Potter for fun, but if you’re looking for something more serious, I *love* the short stories by Borges.
What is your secret talent?
I can eat ice cream every day, and not get tired of it. Tested and confirmed. Mmmmmm… ice cream.
What do you think has been the most exciting advance in physics / astronomy in the last 10 years?
The detection of gravitational waves by a land slide; that is just amazing! We only get to detect gravity waves for the first time once in the history of humanity, and were there for that event! Absolutely incredible.
Any advice for aspiring scientists?
Don’t do science because you want a faculty job. The chances of succeeding are exceedingly small, so you should be prepared to find a job elsewhere at the end of the day. But- if this is your passion, your years as a graduate student and a postdoc can be some of the most rewarding years of your life, regardless of where you end up.