Christopher Williams
Christopher Williams, Ph.D.
Associate
Technology Development
  • Menlo Park

Dr. Williams specializes in the implementation and evaluation of information security and data collection techniques for communications, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. He has applied his expertise to validate standards compliance in secure messaging protocols between a smart card and host; and to study the integration of commercial cryptographic solutions into a government approved authentication infrastructure for mobile platforms. Dr. Williams has diverse scientific experience with expertise in systems integration, instrumentation, experimental design, and real time data acquisition with a focus on systematic error mitigation.

Dr. Williams has a Ph.D. in Physics from University of Chicago, where his dissertation research focused on design, prototyping, and field deployment of novel detectors for particle astrophysics. This included full life-cycle development of an ultra-fast, ultra-wide field imaging microwave telescope which combined consumer off-the-shelf hardware with custom digitizing electronics for triggering and data acquisition. He also has extensive experience in beam test and radioactive environments performing single-photon UV and microwave measurements.

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Williams had a postdoctoral position as a Kavli Fellow at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology of Stanford University and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. His work focused on system design and integration of superconducting quantum detectors for large-scale x-ray spectrometers to be used in space telescopes and terrestrial x-ray source measurements.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Physics, University of Chicago, 2013
  • M.S., Physics, University of Chicago, 2009
  • B.S., Astronomy & Physics, The Ohio State University, 2008, magna cum laude, with honors, with research distinction in physics
  • Kavli Fellowship, Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, Stanford University (2013)

    Dr. Pliny A. & Margaret H. Price Prize, Center for Cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics, The Ohio State University (2012)

    Gaurang & Kanwal Yodh Prize, Department of Physics, University of Chicago (2012)

    Selected as a Young Researcher participant of the 62nd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, Lindau, Germany (July 2012)

    Albert A. Michelson Fellowship, Department of Physics, University of Chicago (2008–2009)

    Eugene and Niesje Parker Fellowship, Department of Physics, University of Chicago; (2008–2010)

    Robert G. Sachs Fellowship, Department of Physics, University of Chicago (2008–2009)

    Smith Senior Award, Department of Physics, The Ohio State University (2008)

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Offensive Security Wireless Professional, 2016

Publications

Alvarez-Mu J, selected n~iz, et al. The MIDAS telescope for microwave detection of ultra-high publications energy cosmic rays. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A 2013; 719:70.

Ave M, et al. Precise measurement of the absolute uorescence yield of the 337 nm band in atmospheric gases. Astroparticle Physics 2013; 42:90.

Alvarez-Mu, J~niz, et al. (Williams C Corresponding Author). Search for microwave emission from ultrahigh energy cosmic rays. Physical Review D 2012; 86:051104(R).

Williams C (for The Pierre Auger Collaboration). Microwave detection of cosmic ray air showers at the Pierre Auger Observatory, an R&D effort. Physics Procedia 2012; 37:1341.

Gorham PW, et al. The Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna ultra-high energy neutrino detector: Design, performance, and sensitivity for the 2006–2007 balloon flight. Astroparticle Physics 2009; 32:10.

Invited Talks

Williams C. Future challenges in understanding ultra-high energy cosmic rays. NASA Goddard Spaceight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA, December 2013.

Williams C. Isotropic microwave emission from extensive air showers. Multi-messenger Approaches to Cosmic Rays: Origins and Space frontiers, Institut d'Astrophysicque de Paris, France, November 2013.

Williams C. The MIDAS telescope. KIPAC Tea Talk, Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, USA, January 2013.

Williams C. Microwave transient telescopes: Cosmic rays and beyond. SETI Institute, Mountain View, CA, USA, January 2013.

Williams C. Microwave detection of cosmic ray air showers. NPAC Forum, Department of Physics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA, November 2012.

Williams C. Microwave detection of cosmic ray air showers. Price Prize Lecture, Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA, October 2012.

Williams C. Ultra-high energy cosmic rays. 220th AAS Meeting, Anchorage, AK, USA, June 2012.

Williams C. Microwave Detection of Air Showers (MIDAS): A Path Under Experiment. TAPIR Seminar, California Institue of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA, April 2012

Proceedings

Williams C, et al. First results from the Microwave Air Yield Beam Experiment (MAYBE): Measurement of GHz radiation of ultra-high energy cosmic ray detection. Proceedings, International Symposium on Future Directions in UHECR Physics, EPJ Web of Conferences 53, 08008, 2013.

Bogdan M, et al. Front-end electronics and data acquisition system for the MIDAS experiment. 2011 IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium, Conference Record, pp. 1252–1255, NP3.M-114, Valencia, Spain, October 23–29, 2011.

Monasor M, et al. The Microwave Air Yield Beam Experiment (MAYBE): Measurement of GHz radiation for ultra-high energy cosmic rays detection. Proceedings, 32nd International Cosmic Ray Conference, 2011.

The Pierre Auger Collaboration (Presentation by P. Allison). Microwave detection of cosmic ray showers at the Pierre Auger Observatory. Proceedings, 32nd International Cosmic Ray Conference, 2011.

Privitera P, et al. Microwave detection of air showers with the MIDAS experiment. Nuclear Physics B – Proceedings Supplements 2011; 212–213: 329.

Ave M, et al. (AIRFLY Collaboration). Precise measurement of the absolute yield of fluorescence photons in atmospheric gases. Nuclear Physics B - Proceedings Supplements 2011; 212–213:361.

Ave M, et al. (AIRFLY Collaboration). Precise measurement of the absolute fluorescence yield. International Symposium on the Recent Progress Of Ultra-High Energy Cosmic Ray Observation, AIP Conference Proceedings 2010; 1367, 29.

Williams C, et al. The MIDAS Experiment: A new technique for the detection of extensive air showers. Proceedings, XVI International Symposium on Very High Energy Cosmic Ray Interactions, 2010.

Conference Presentations

Williams C. The MIDAS Telescope for the detection of ultra-high energy cosmic rays. URSI Meeting, Boulder, CO, USA, January 2013.

Williams C. New detection techniques for ultra-high energy cosmic rays, an R&D effort for wide-field microwave transient telescopes. CASPER Workshop, Green Bank, WV, USA, August 2012.

Williams C, et al. The Microwave Air Yield Beam Experiment (MAYBE): Measurement of GHz radiation for ultra-high energy cosmic rays detection. American Physical Society April Meeting, Atlanta, GA, USA, April 2012.

Williams C, et al. First results from the Microwave Air Yield Beam Experiment (MAYBE): Measurement of GHz radiation of ultra-high energy cosmic ray detection. International Symposium on Future Directions in UHECR Physics, CERN, Geneva, Switzerland, February 2012.

Williams C, for The Pierre Auger Collaboration. Microwave detection of cosmic ray air showers at the Pierre Auger Observatory, an R&D effort. Technology and Instrumentation in Particle Physics 2011, Chicago, IL, USA, June 2011.

Williams C. Laser calibration of the AIRFLY experiment. 7th Air Fluorescence Workshop, Coimbra, Portugal, September 2010.

Williams C, et al. The MIDAS Experiment: A new technique for the detection of extensive air showers. XVI International Symposium on Very High Energy Cosmic Ray Interactions, Batavia, IL, USA, June 2010.

Williams C. Absolute calibration of PMTs with Rayleigh Scattered Laser Light. 6th Air Fluorescence Workshop, L'Aquila, Italy, February 2009.

Collaboration Publications

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. Origin of atmospheric aerosols at the Pierre Auger Observatory using studies of air mass trajectories in South America. Atmospheric Research 2014; 149:120.

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. Depth of maximum of air-shower profiles at the Pierre Auger Observatory. II. Composition implications. Physical Review D 2014; 90(12):122006.

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. Depth of maximum of air-shower profiles at the Pierre Auger Observatory. I. Measurements at energies above 1017:8 eV. Physical Review D 2014; 90(12).

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. Searches for large-scale anisotropy in the arrival directions of cosmic rays detected above energy of 1019 eV at the Pierre Auger Observatory and the Telescope Array. The Astrophysical Journal 2014; 794(2):172.

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. Muons in air showers at the Pierre Auger Observatory: Measurement of atmospheric production depth. Physical Review D 2014; 90(1):12012.

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. A targeted search for point sources of EeV neutrons. The Astrophysical Journal Letters 2014; 789(2): L34.

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. A search for point sources of EeV photons. Astrophysical Journal 2014; 789(2):160.

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. Probing the radio emission from air showers with polarization measurements. Physical Review D 2014; 89(5):52002.

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. Identifying clouds over the Pierre Auger Observatory using infrared satellite data. Astroparticle Physics 2013; 50(92).

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. Ultra-high energy neutrinos at the Pierre Auger Observatory. Advances in High Energy Physics 2013; 708680.

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. The interpretation of the depths of shower maximum of extensive air showers measured by the Pierre Auger Observatory. Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics 2013; 02:026.

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. Constraints on the origin of cosmic rays above 1018 eV from large scale anisotropy searches in data of the Pierre Auger observatory. Astrophysical Journal Letters 2013; 762:L13.

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. Large scale distribution of arrival directions of cosmic rays detected above 1018 eV at the Pierre Auger observatory. Astrophysical Journal Supplement 2012; 203:34.

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. A search for point sources of EeV Neutrons. Astrophysical Journal 2012; 760:148.

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. Antennas for the detection of radio emission pulses from cosmic-ray induced air showers at the Pierre Auger Observatory. Journal of Instrumentation 2012.

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. Ultra-high energy neutrinos at the Pierre Auger Observatory. Advances in High Energy Physics 2012.

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. The rapid atmospheric monitoring system of the Pierre Auger Observatory. Journal of Instrumentation 2012; 7:P09001.

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. Measurement of the proton-air cross-section at P s = 57 TeV with the Pierre Auger Observatory. Physical Review Letters 2012; 109:062002.

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. Search for point-like sources of ultra-high energy neutrinos at the Pierre Auger Observatory and improved limit on the diffuse ux of tau neutrinos. Astrophysical Journal Letters 2012; 755:L4.

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. A search for anisotropy in the arrival directions of ultra-high energy cosmic rays recorded at the Pierre Auger Observatory. Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics 2012; 04:040.

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. Description of atmospheric conditions at the Pierre Auger Observatory using the Global Data Assimilation System (GDAS). Astroparticle Physics 2012; 35:591.

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. Search for signatures of magnetically-induced alignment in the arrival directions measured by the Pierre Auger Observatory. Astroparticle Physics 2012; 35:354.

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. Search for ultrahigh energy neutrinos in highly inclined events at the Pierre Auger Observatory. Physical Review D 2011; 84:122005.

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. The effect of the geomagnetic field on cosmic ray energy estimates and large scale anisotropy searches on data from the Pierre Auger Observatory. Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics 2011; 11:022.

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. The lateral trigger probability function for UHE cosmic rays showers detected by the Pierre Auger Observatory. Astroparticle Physics 2011; 35:266.

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. Anisotropy and chemical composition of ultra-high energy cosmic rays using arrival directions measured by the Pierre Auger Observatory. Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics 2011; 06:022.

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. Advanced functionality for radio analysis in the Offine software framework of the Pierre Auger Observatory. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research 2011; A635:92.

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. Search for first harmonic modulation in the right ascension distribution of cosmic rays detected at the Pierre Auger Observatory. Astroparticle Physics 2011; 34:627.

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. The Pierre Auger Observatory scaler mode for the study of the modulation of galactic cosmic rays due to solar activity. Journal of Instrumentation 2011; 6:P01003.

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. The exposure of the hybrid detector of the Pierre Auger Observatory. Astroparticle Physics 2011; 34:368.

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. Update on the correlation of the highest energy cosmic rays with nearby extragalactic matter. Astroparticle Physics 2010; 34:314.

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. The northern site of the Pierre Auger Observatory. New Journal of Physics 2010; 12:035001.

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. Measurement of the depth of maximum of extensive air showers above 1018 eV. Physical Review Letters 2010; 104:091101.

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. Measurement of the energy spectrum of cosmic rays above 1018 eV using the Pierre Auger Observatory. Physics Letters B 2010; 685:239.

The Pierre Auger Collaboration. Trigger and aperture of the surface detector array of the Pierre Auger Observatory. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research A 2010; 613:29.

Conference Posters

Williams C, et al. Microwave Detection of Air Showers (MIDAS). Centenary Symposium 2012: Discovery of Cosmic Rays, Denver, CO, USA, June 2012.

Williams C, et al. The MIDAS Experiment, instrument design and first limits on ultra-high energy cosmic ray emission in microwaves. Wilhelm und Else Heraeus Seminar: Radio Detection in Astroparticle Physics, Bad Honnef, Germany, October 2011.


News & Events

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Physics, University of Chicago, 2013
  • M.S., Physics, University of Chicago, 2009
  • B.S., Astronomy & Physics, The Ohio State University, 2008, magna cum laude, with honors, with research distinction in physics
  • Kavli Fellowship, Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, Stanford University (2013)

    Dr. Pliny A. & Margaret H. Price Prize, Center for Cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics, The Ohio State University (2012)

    Gaurang & Kanwal Yodh Prize, Department of Physics, University of Chicago (2012)

    Selected as a Young Researcher participant of the 62nd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, Lindau, Germany (July 2012)

    Albert A. Michelson Fellowship, Department of Physics, University of Chicago (2008–2009)

    Eugene and Niesje Parker Fellowship, Department of Physics, University of Chicago; (2008–2010)

    Robert G. Sachs Fellowship, Department of Physics, University of Chicago (2008–2009)

    Smith Senior Award, Department of Physics, The Ohio State University (2008)

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Offensive Security Wireless Professional, 2016