Jeremy D. Schnittman
Research Astrophysicist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

May 2019

Alumni Focus

Jeremy Schnittman came to LLE as a summer high school intern (from Wilson Magnet High School in the Rochester City School District). Under the supervision of Stephen Craxton, Jeremy wrote, from scratch, a viewfactor program that modeled the uniformity in cylindrical hohlraums on Nova, OMEGA, and the National Ignition Facility (NIF). He became a semifinalist in the then Westinghouse Science Talent Search for this work. He continued to develop his program in his senior year of high school, during which time he proposed that tetrahedral hohlraum experiments could be carried out on OMEGA using all 60 beams. He worked out the configuration and beam pointings to accomplish this and found that excellent capsule irradiation uniformity could be achieved throughout the laser pulse. He also worked out a configuration for performing tetrahedral hohlraum experiments on the NIF, which motivated a change in the azimuthal angles of the NIF design to accommodate this geometry. He continued this work while majoring in physics at Harvard, including one summer at LLNL and the others at LLE, and played a major role in a series of collaborative tetrahedral hohlraum experiments carried out on OMEGA under the leadership of LANL.

Jeremy earned a B.A. in physics from Harvard University (1999) and a Ph.D. in physics from MIT (2005). Jeremy then carried out postgraduate work at the University of Maryland (2005–2007) and Johns Hopkins University (2007–2010), the latter as a Chandra Postdoctoral Fellow. In 2010, Jeremy joined the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD as a research astrophysicist in their Sciences and Exploration Directorate. His research interests include: modeling x-ray spectra from black-hole accretion flows, black-hole binaries, gravitational wave sources, electromagnetic counterparts to binary black-hole mergers, dark matter annihilation around black holes, resonant dynamics of planetary systems and analogs, and modeling exoplanet atmospheres. One of Jeremy's most important research tools today is a general relativistic radiation transport code named "Pandurata," after a species of black orchid, and inspired by the age-old LLE tradition of naming simulation codes after flowers. He also carries on the LLE tradition of student research projects, having served as research advisor for nearly twenty high school, undergrad, and graduate students in the past twelve years.