Nicolas Lopez

Advisor: I. Dodin

Nick grew up in sunny California. However, he had to say goodbye to the sun when he attended MIT for college. Although he enrolled as a nuclear engineering student, he quickly realized that his true passion resided in physics, and picked up physics as a double major at the beginning of his junior year. For his undergraduate thesis, he worked with Prof. Paola Cappellaro’s group in a theoretical study of Nitrogen-Vacancy magnetometry.

Nick arrived at Princeton in Fall 2015 with a single goal in mind – to study plasma wave theory. For his first year project, he worked with Dr. Francesca Poli to optimize electron cyclotron heating on NSTX-U, while for his second year project, he worked with Prof. Abhay Ram at MIT to develop analytical models for the mode conversion efficiency of the extraordinary wave to the electron Bernstein wave in the presence of small-scale turbulence. Since 2018, Nick has been working with Prof. Ilya Dodin on his thesis research, which aims to develop a new theoretical framework for geometrical optics near caustics.

In his free time, Nick can often be found playing board games with his fellow grad students, or watching soccer highlights, much to the annoyance of his “roommate”.