About Me

Dark matter millennium sim

Dark Matter Cosmic Web Simulation. Image Credit: The Millennium Simulation Project

Hello, my name is Sophia Nasr. I’m The Astropartigirl (as in, Astroparticle Girl, not Astro-party-girl, although I can’t say I mind space parties). You may know me on Twitter as @Astropartigirl. I’m a cosmologist focusing on astroparticle theory. I work on a type of dark matter beyond the Cold Dark Matter paradigm—Self-Interacting Dark Matter. You’ll learn a bit more about this type of dark matter in an upcoming blog post. I’ll be beginning my PhD in Physics at UC Irvine this Fall 2017.


Me giving a talk about my research on SIDM at the Canadian Undergraduate Physics Conference in October 2015.

As you can probably tell, dark matter has been a puzzle I’ve been determined to figure out for quite some time. It is a mystery that has captivated me for over two years. But, that isn’t where it ends for me! I specialize in a field that uses the very big and the very small to solve some of the Universe’s greatest mysteries—the intersection of astrophysics, particle physics, and cosmology—astroparticle theory. Yet, I have a particular fondness for planetary science, and one of my favorite things to do when I’m not working on theory or coding, is processing planetary images (particularly Saturn images taken by the beloved Cassini Spacecraft, a mission set to end September 2017, and more recently, Jupiter images taken by the JunoCam). When I do, I like to explain some interesting phenomena observed in these images. (I’m quite sure I’m a planetary scientist in another universe; in this one, I’m an astroparticle physicist, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do a bit of planetary science!) I’ve written several threads on Twitter that I’ve turned into Moments on these, along with one on Self-Interacting Dark Matter, and I plan to elaborate on these in this blog.

Cosmo Presentation

Me giving a presentation on Cosmology for the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada’s NOVA lecture series in November, 2015.

I also have a Roborovski dwarf hamster (as you’ll notice in the linked Moments above) named Neutrini. He’s the tinisymmetric partner of the Neutrino (yes, I created tinisymmetry for hamsters, and other animals and pets). He’s my best friend, and as you would expect for a Neutrini, his mass is tiny and he’s really fast!

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My hamster Neutrini acting as the spherical cow, and doing so on my research notes.

I’m a huge animal lover, I love reading books (Wheel of Time right now; absolutely recommend it if you haven’t read it), an intersectional feminist, and a human rights advocate. I also enjoy binge-watching TV shows when I’m not coding my research!

That, in a nutshell, is a bit about who I am. I hope you enjoy this blog!