Interview with Hoi-Fung David Yu

Hoi-Fung David Yu stands in front of a chalkboard which says F=ma.I am from Hong Kong. I studied Physics and Astronomy at the University of Hong Kong for my BSc and MPhil degrees. Then I did my PhD study at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Munich, Germany. I chose to be a scientist because I am fascinated by the power of science to describe the physical laws of nature. I like to be a scientist to be involved in the scientific progress. However, I dislike to spend most of my time in the lab / office and being disconnected from other people. That’s why I also spend a lot of time writing science blogs and making science videos on social media to promote science. I co-authored a popular science book on astronomy that was published this July in Hong Kong.

What is your field of research and/or what project are you involved in at the OKC?
My field of research at the OKC is gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). I work at the particle and astroparticle physics group in KTH. The main aim is to identify the dominant emission mechanism of gamma rays from GRBs. I plan to work on a few projects on this topic in Sweden with my supervisor Felix Ryde, who is himself an expert in GRB emission mechanisms.

Which of your skills are you most proud of? What new skills would you like to learn in the next year?
I am proud to be a observer and a data analyst. Observation is the key to science. I plan to learn more about Bayesian data analysis in the next year (although I’ve already been studying this for years). I am glad to have shown that a conventional theory of GRB is incorrect during my PhD studies. I am now excited to look at various possibilities which could explain the data better. I hope that my result is an exciting advancement in the field of GRB research.

What advances or new results are you excited about or looking forward to?
The biggest obstacle slowing down my field of research is that there are no new gamma-ray burst dedicated space missions at the moment. When all the current operating gamma-ray space telescopes are retired we will have no GRB data to continue the research.

What’s your favorite food? Why?
My favourite food is fish, vegetables, and rice, but I don’t know why 🙂

Why did you choose the OKC?
I chose OKC because OKC has a very nice area for research. With all the researchers from different fields staying together in the same building, one could easily get new ideas and get to know the latest advancements across different research fields.

How do you relax after a hard day of work?
I go bouldering after work to relax.

What do you hope to see accomplished scientifically in the next 50 years?
I hope in the next 50 years that humans have solved global warming and begun interplanetary travels.

Hoi-Fung David is a postdoc who came to the OKC in March.
Thanks Hoi-Fung David and keep up the great science communication!

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