After all, science is essentially international, and it is only through lack of the historical sense that national qualities have been attributed to it.
Marie Skłodowska-Curie


Science makes people reach selflessly for truth and objectivity; it teaches people to accept reality, with wonder and admiration, not to mention the deep awe and joy that the natural order of things brings to the true scientist.
Lise Meitner

Projects

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Studying the proton spin structure with STAR

How the spin of a nucleon arises from the spins and orbital angular momenta of quarks and gluons? This fundamental question in hadron physics remains not completely answered. Experiments with polarized proton-proton collisions can bring us closer to the comprehensive understanding of the internal spin structure of matter.

Searching for EDMs of charged hadrons with JEDI

The origin of the matter-antimatter imbalance in the universe is one of the grand puzzles of modern physics. Searches for Electric Dipole Moments of charged hadrons within the JEDI collaboration can shed the light on the new sources on the CP-symmetry violation which could explain the observed preponderance of matter in our world.

Diffractive interaction of protons at CDF

Central exclusive production processes are characterized by large regions in forward rapidity devoid of hadrons, and a centrally produced state, in our case pairs of charged mesons. This class of reactions measured at TeV energies has an important role in meson spectroscopy, favoring states having valence gluons, such as glueballs.

Probing symmetry between u and d quarks with WASA

The fact that up and down quarks have slightly different masses has quite some impact on our existence, resulting in proton being heavier then neutron, and therefore stable. Net effects of quark-mass differences can be studied in hadronic reactions, e.g., in the reaction measured with the WASA-at-COSY experiment.

Experience

 
 
 
 
 
July 2018 – Present
Berkeley, USA

Postdoctoral Researcher

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Collaboration: STAR

  • Leading analysis towards understanding the gluon contribution to proton spin with longitudinally polarized proton-proton collisions at excess energy 200 GeV
 
 
 
 
 
January 2017 – July 2018
Jülich, Germany

Postdoctoral Researcher

Research Center Jülich

Collaboration: JEDI

  • Investigated polarized deuteron-carbon scattering with the WASA detector.
  • Obtained database of spin observables for a dedicated polarimeter for the search for electric dipole moments of charged particles at a storage ring (srEDM).
 
 
 
 
 
October 2013 – November 2016
Jülich, Germany

PhD Student

Research Center Jülich

Collaboration: WASA-at-COSY

  • Prepared and coordinated dedicated beamtime for the charge symmetry breaking reaction $dd\rightarrow{^4\text{He}}\pi^0$ measurement.
  • Developed calibration method for time-of-flight and energy losses from plastic scintillators in WASA.
  • Measured for the first time the differential cross-section and quantitatively interpreted obtained results by means of partial wave analysis.
 
 
 
 
 
October 2011 – July 2013
Cracow, Poland

MSc Student

Jagiellonian University

Collaboration: WASA-at-COSY

  • Designed modification of the WASA detector setup for optimal measurement of the the $dd\rightarrow{^4\text{He}}\pi^0$.
  • Granted ten-week-long dedicated beamtime by the COSY Program Advisory Committee.
 
 
 
 
 
October 2010 – July 2013
Cracow, Poland

Teaching Qualifications

Jagiellonian University

Level: Middle schools and high schools

  • Completed courses in pedagogy, psychology, didactics of physics, and voice emission.
  • Internships at the high-school and middle-school level: teaching, curriculum preparation, science-club tutoring, and classes for special needs pupils (learning disabilities, disadvantaged backgrounds).
 
 
 
 
 
July 2010 – May 2015
Batavia, USA

Summer Intern/Visiting Scientist

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

Collaboration: CDF

  • Analyzed dedicated low-luminosity dataset with the CDF experiment.
  • Observed central exclusive $\pi^+\pi^-$ production for the first time at excess energy of 1.96 and 0.9 TeV.

Selected Publications

(2018). An Isotensor Dibaryon in the $pp \to pp\pi^+\pi^-$ Reaction?. In: Phys. Rev. Lett. 121.

DOI

(2017). Phase locking the spin precession in a storage ring. In: Phys. Rev. Lett. 119.

Project DOI

(2014). Charge symmetry breaking in $dd \rightarrow {}^4\text{He} \pi^0$ with WASA-at-COSY. In: Phys. Lett. B739.

Project DOI

(2014). Evidence for a New Resonance from Polarized Neutron-Proton Scattering. In: Phys. Rev. Lett. 112.

DOI

(2013). Search for a dark photon in the $\pi^0 \to e^+e^-\gamma$ decay. In: Phys. Lett. B726.

DOI

Outreach

To push further the frontier of our knowledge, we, as a community of scientists, cannot forget how essential popularization of science is. We can build state-of-the-art experimental facilities and create revolutionary theories and ideas, but as long as we do not have a diverse generation of enthusiastic young people with a critical-thinking attitude to continue our work, we cannot expect to achieve any long-lasting progress.

STEM outreach and education, especially supporting girls and women, is an essential part of my mission as a scientist. My main areas of outreach engagement are Classroom and Mentoring, Public Engagement, Social Media and Advocacy for change.

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Classroom

My adventure with teaching started during my studies at the Jagiellonian University, where I obtained my teaching qualifications. Since then, I’ve led several classroom activities for university and K-12 students.

Mentorship

In addition to my tutoring experience with grad students and summer interns, I have been participating in many K-12 mentorship programs related to promoting careers in STEM.

Public Engagement

STEM Festivals and Science Fairs are one of my favorite outreach activities. I love sharing my enthusiasm for science to spark the interest of the general public.

Social Media

I use social media for science popularization and for advocacy for positive change in the academic environment. Check my Twitter and LinkedIn.

Advocacy

I’m a advocate for positive change in the academic environment. I’ve been heavily involved in associations supporting early-career scientist and promoting diversity.

Leadership

During my career, I’ve been heavily involved in associations supporting early-career scientist. Currently, as a co-chair of the Berkeley Lab Postdoc Association, representing about 1000 postdocs from 6 different STEM Research Areas, I meet every day with concerns of early-career scientist about our future path in academia and beyond.

Collaborating on different levels with the Berkeley Lab Postdoc Office and the Bay Area Postdocs we support our postdoc community to help them succeed in future career paths. Our primary goal is to enrich the postdocs’ professional and personal lives through various events and activities.

 
 
 
 
 
December 2018 – Present
Berkeley, USA

Co-chair, Member of the Board

Berkeley Lab Postdoc Association (BLPA)

Activities:

 
 
 
 
 
September 2011 – September 2013
Cracow, Poland

President, Member of the Board

Koło Matematyczno-Przyrodnicze Studentów UJ (KMPSUJ)

Mathematical and Natural Science Student Association of the Jagiellonian University

Activities:

  • Oversaw the operations of the Association
  • Obtained funds for more than 40 Association’s activities
  • Organized about 20 student workshops and outreach activities
  • Coordinated student scientific projects and maintained administration duties

Contact

  • mariakzurek@lbl.gov
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Nuclear Science Division, 1 Cyclotron Road M/S 70R0319, Berkeley, CA 94720