Ohkyung Kwon

Associate Fellow, KICP

Ohkyung Kwon
Address:
Fermilab

Background

I received a doctorate in physics at the University of Chicago in 2015, under the tutelage of Craig J. Hogan and Stephan S. Meyer.

I am passionate about teaching and communicating science.  At the University of Chicago, I received the Gregor Wentzel Teaching Award and the College Core Tutor Award, and ​taught and mentored students in the Physics and Math departments, the Graham School of Continuing Education, and the Chicago Academic Achievement Program. 

Research

I am a quantum space-time phenomenologist. I study the question of whether the space-time we live in is a definite reality that is a background on which all matter and light exist, or if it is an emergent phenomenon from a fundamentally indeterminate quantum system. Is the fabric of space-time absolute, or does it arise only as a specific observation made by a specific observer, with its true nature probabilistic and woven out of relationships among the building blocks of reality? I study this question from an empirical perspective, constructing models that attempt to describe actual experiments and observations, designing research programs to test those models, interpreting data to understand what it tells us about the underlying laws and principles, and sometimes even taking a role in the commissioning and operations of an experiment. Currently, I am carrying out the latest second-generation Holometer research program at Fermi National Laboratory, which measures tiny fluctuations of space-time at unprecedented precision (1/100,000,000 of a single atom!) to see if its background fabric is very subtly twisting due to quantum indeterminacies.