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Dr Merritt Moore

Quantum Physicist and Ballerina

Merrit Moore

Light is incredible. It is a combination of electric and magnetic waves that sometimes acts as a particle and sometimes a wave. For my research I built a source to produce massless single particles of light, known as photons. I did this by shining a laser through a crystal, which produced pairs of photons. I then collected the photons in fibers and I split the pairs with a beamsplitter. This produces really neat results because I could then explore the cool effects of quantum mechanics.

If you want to see my research in action, click this link and watch me ‘Dance my PhD’!

I’ve constantly been told that I can’t pursue my two passions at the same time, but I’ve worked hard to prove that wrong by continuing both physics and dance. I’ve danced professionally with Zurich Ballet, Boston Ballet and English National Ballet while graduating in physics at Harvard and pursuing a PhD in atomic and laser physics at Oxford. Keep following your dreams!

I love being a scientist because...

I think it is one of the most creative jobs in the world. There are so many wonderful mysteries in science, so you really have to use your imagination to try and think of solutions.

The most awesome thing I have done so far is...

Dance as a professional ballerina with English National Ballet, Boston Ballet and Zurich Ballet while pursuing a physics degree

My heroes are...

William Forsythe (a really good choreographer) and my sister!

Advice I would give my 7 year old self...

“Nothing is impossible. Possible just takes time”.

At primary school my favourite thing to do was...

Build 3D puzzles, play soccer during lunch, produce plays with friends



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