Adam Pivonka was born in Houston, TX in 1982, and moved to Billings, MT at the age of two. Growing up, he spent much of his free time enjoying outdoor activities and developing experiments. Adam discovered his passion for physics while a junior in high school, and subsequently moved to California to pursue a physics degree at Harvey Mudd College. He went on to earn a BS with High Distinction and Departmental Honors in Physics in 2005.
After completing his undergraduate work, Adam moved to Massachusetts to begin a graduate degree in physics. He worked in Professor Jennifer Hoffman’s experimental condensed matter group at Harvard University. There, his work was in the final stages of developing an ultra high vacuum scanning tunneling microscope sensitive to the spin state of tunneling electrons. The instrument features a variable-temperature helium flow cryostat and in-vacuum sample and tip transfer. Once completed, the group plans to use the instrument to study high temperature superconductors, nanomagnetic systems, and topological insulators. In the future, Adam plans to pursue a career in applied condensed matter in either industry or a national lab.
Adam uses his free time to stay involved in outdoor activities, such as backpacking and rock climbing.