Physics Profile: Katie Jameson

Katie Jameson

Junior Katie Jameson approaches physics with an eye to the cosmos.

Katie reduces and actively analyzes stellar spectra of a newly discovered galactic cluster, which has allowed her to identify the three brightest stars within the cluster as “massive stars.” That implies that the cluster is a “massive cluster,” and adds to the short list of known massive galactic clusters. Her research is in collaboration with Professor Dan Clemens of the Institute for Astrophysical Research at BU as part of the Galactic Plane Infrared Polarization Survey (GPIPS) team.

She notes that understanding our galaxy helps us understand the universe as a whole, though she adds that “due to the difficulty in observing our own galaxy, there is much left to be discovered.” Katie’s work will ultimately lead to a more detailed picture of the most local part of the universe and contribute to our understanding of how the universe we observe has evolved.

When she is not in the office busy with data and programming, she does occasionally do things unrelated to physics. She has captained an intramural co-ed soccer team, and she has been “coerced” into playing intramural softball with The Cosmic Voids from the Astronomy Department. (She has one RBI and one home run hit in the home run derby.)

Although not particularly musically inclined, she does pick up a guitar from time to time – she has two – and rock out. She also loves art and artistic expression a great deal, particularly painting and slam poetry, but she says that fractals are also “pretty nifty.” Most importantly, she tries to devote as much time as possible to de-stressing, mainly by meditating and doing yoga.

The thing that keeps her waking up every morning and drives her involvement in science is the “immaculate beauty that exists in this world.” She is happiest just looking up at the sky and trying to imagine the immensity of the universe. What gets to her the most is that, despite that immensity, such fantastic patterns seem to underlie everything, which brings an unanticipated elegance to our existence.