Angela Filila Ollento is a Brazilian scientist who is now part of a highly select hall: the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. When you become a member of the Foundation, physics is alongside names like Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Charles Darwin, and other giants of world history.
According to the foundation’s website, the academy members are world leaders in the arts and sciences, business, philanthropy, and public relations, located in the United States and around the world. “These elected members join with other professionals to explore the challenges facing society, identify solutions and promote non-partisan recommendations that advance the common good,” the bulletin says.
Professor at the University of Chicago, USA, and Dean of the Physical and Mathematical Sciences Department of the Foundation, the Brazilian specializing in astrophysics, being a pioneer in this field, and working on projects in partnership with the US Space Agency, NASA. . She obtained a degree in Physics from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro and a PhD in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“In college, I became interested in particle physics, and at a Ph.D. in astrophysics.” The scientist said in an interview with Exame, from my postdoctoral period onwards, I devoted myself to building this new field that combines two areas of my previous interests.
In addition to the important chair that he now occupies at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, in the same week, Olinto also joined the National Academy of Sciences, which in 2021 elected 120 members, 59 of whom were women (the largest number ever elected). In one year). It is a private, non-profit institution, created by a letter from Congress signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It recognizes achievement in science through board elections, and – along with the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine – provides advice and research in science and engineering And health for the federal government and other organizations.
Important contributions throughout your career
The scientist has built a very successful career, with important theoretical and experimental contributions to astronomical particles, such as research in the study of neutron star structure, inflationary theory, the origin and evolution of cosmic magnetic fields, the nature of dark matter and the origin of particles, cosmic rays of greater energy: cosmic rays and gamma rays. And neutrinos.
In cooperation with NASA, Olinto is responsible for several projects, among them the EUSO-SPB (“Cosmic Observatory of the Universe in a Super-Pressure Balloon,” with free translation). The project is a high-pressure balloon traveling 33 kilometers, with the goal of detecting very high-energy cosmic rays. Expectations for take off for 2023.
Another program is a future space mission called POEMMA (“Extreme Astrophysical Multi-Messengers Probe”, in Portuguese). “The project is designed by my international team of approximately 80 researchers for a mission dedicated to studying the most energetic astronomical particles, cosmic rays and super-energy neutrinos, and discovering their sources and interactions,” the researcher says. If construction and flight are approved, the space mission will be completed by the end of this decade.
What is astronomical particle physics
The term “stellar particle physics” refers to the interdisciplinary alliance between astrophysics and particle physics. When studying astronomical particles, we understand more about the basic laws of nature, ”explains Scholar.
According to Olento, astronomical particles are particles that form or interact with matter, such as atomic nuclei and neutrinos, that come from astrophysical sources far from the solar system. Possible sources of stellar particles, according to the expert, include “supermassive black holes, galaxies of intense interstellar formation, stars separated by black holes, and collisions that produce gravitational waves.”
Honoring the researcher with the nominations
About joining the academies, she says she is very flattered. “It is a great honor to be a member of one of these two historical institutions, which are the most important academies of science in the United States. I am honored to pursue inspiring questions about our universe, and to build wonderful partnerships and collaborations along the way. It is my pleasure to be known by fellow scientists, Especially in such a difficult year. “
Olinto encourages women who feel inspired by their path: “The beauty of science, as well as art, is within our reach, or it should be. If this beauty inspires you, don’t let anyone say it’s not for women. Read, study, learn honestly. Respect the complex beauty of the area you choose. ”
The secret is to trust yourself. “By following your intuition, dedication, and your mask, you can go a long way. As in climbing, if you focus on the road ahead, when you reach the summit you can look back with pride at what the climb has achieved,” he encourages the world.