Huxford, Rachael

Rachael (right) determining changes in pumpkin sphericity after drop-test experiment from the roof of Smith Hall (2016)
Rachael (with calipers) determining changes in pumpkin sphericity after its geodesic trajectory from the roof of Smith Hall terminated on the pavement below (2016). In the background (L to R): Mat Ridge, Kate Holman and Alex Vlk. Dr. Overduin in the foreground at left. (Photo: Kanji Takeno)
  • In her spare time, stitching masks to help in the fight against COVID (2020)
  • Co-author on Nature paper announcing the first detection of gravitational waves from coalescing black holes with asymmetric masses (Spring 2020)
  • Graduate student in gravitational physics and LIGO team member at Penn State University (Fall 2018)
  • Undergraduate commencement speaker at Towson University’s 2018 Spring Convocation (see video interview)
  • Edward I. Rubendall award for Outstanding Senior in the Department of Physics, Astronomy and Geosciences (2018)
  • Research internship at NIKHEF, the Dutch National Institute for Particle and High-Energy Physics in Amsterdam (organized through the University of Florida Gravitational Physics International REU program, summer 2017)
  • As a member of the LIGO/Virgo collaboration, contributed to the detection of gravitational waves that won the Nobel Prize in Physics (2017)
  • Pelham Prize for outstanding Junior in the Department of Physics, Astronomy and Geosciences (2017)

Semesters: Spring 2016, Fall 2017


Induced bias in recovery of spinning neutron star binaries with non-spinning waveforms (with Chris van den Broeck and Archisman Ghosh, NIKHEF)

  • poster presentation and “Top Undergraduate Presenter” award at APS April meeting (Columbus, April 2018)
  • poster presentation at Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWIP, University of North Florida, January 2018)

Classroom simulation of gravitational waves from orbiting binaries

  • co-author on paper (The Physics Teacher 56, 586, 2018)
  • co-presenter, “Gravitational Waves” (seminar, Department of Physics, Astronomy and Geosciences at Towson University, November 2017)

Roadrunner physics: using cartoons to challenge student preconceptions

  • poster presentation at PhysCon, the 20th Quadrennial Physics Congress (San Francisco, November 2016)
  • poster presentation at Towson University Student Research Expo (2016)
  • co-author on poster presentation at APS March meeting (Baltimore, 2016)