About Me

I hail from Eastchester high school in Eastchester, New York, a small town in Westchester county. Though my parents and brother are all artists, I chose the path of science. By the time I was in fourth grade, I decided to dedicate my life to physics after becoming obsessed with understanding the nature of time, wormholes and time travel, futuristic propulsion concepts for space travel, and the search for life in the universe. Going to space camp in Florida when I was twelve further reinforced my devotion to science. For the past ten years, I have spent most of my time reading hundreds of popular and technical books and journal articles relating to electromagnetism, special and general relativity, astronomy, astrophysics, quantum mechanics, particles physics, cosmology, and theories of quantum gravity.

By the time I entered high school, I began preparing for my 3-year high school science research program called ASR (Advanced Science Research), which is taught by my high school physics teacher, Ed Gruber. My research was on the theoretical concepts of zero-point energy in QED and the technological implications of its manipulation via the Casimir effect. I initially interacted with Dr. Harold E. Puthoff of the Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin, Texas, but was unable to do experimental research with him; I eventually worked with Dr. Daniel C. Cole of Boston University, on a quasi-experimental project on Stochastic Electrodynamics, a recently revived classical electrodynamics reformulation of quantum mechanics. I did a numerical analysis of the classical hydrogen atom, interacting with classical electromagnetic zero-point radiation, to derive single-hydrogen atom quantum mechanics. Much remains to be done with this project and the field of SED, and I intend to return to it in the near future. As a result of this project, I submitted an Intel STS paper, won third place in physics at WESEF science fair competition, and recieved the Air Force medal for Excellence in Science and Engineering. I decided to attend Stony Brook University as a Physics major in 2004, because of its distinguished reputation in physics, its affiliation with Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the low tuition.

Among my other interests are cognitive science and philosophy of mind; philosophy of science, educational reform, and libertarian (both socialist and capitalist) political philosophy and activism. I am also affiliated with the Center for Inquiry-Metro NY and the Council for Secular Humanism, with whom I have organized a debate on the existence of God and an Einstein Day celebration here at Stony Brook. Because of these interests, I am also minoring in analytical philosophy. For lesiure, I'll either surf the internet, play basketball when I can, practice Jeet Kune Do martial arts, or watch my favorite shows like Family Guy, Curb your Enthusiasm, Real Time with Bill Maher, The Simpsons, Seinfeld, Book-TV on C-SPAN, and anything science related on the Science Channel and PBS.

Though I plan to primarily pursue theoretical physics and join the search for a unified field theory and theory of quantum gravity, I also intend on being involved in experimental physics projects relating to quantum vacuum physics, and sonoluminescence for its potential as a means of nuclear fusion.

Maaneli Derakhshani
June 2005
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