Christopher Watson

“Stanford has given me an opportunity to explore a diverse set of interests; graduate students don’t have a rigid set of courses or the like, so it’s a flexible time in one’s career.  It’s also a lot more forgiving than being a postdoc or assistant professor, in terms of needing rapid and consistent results.  To use the Silicon Valley parlance, it’s a great time for load testing; I can take a lot on and see how much I can handle, and that also motivates me to find out which things are more important to me and are worth pursuing.  Of course, grad school is also a time for academic growth and development; not only am I given the tools and resources to do interesting, cutting-edge research, but I’m also learning what it means to do really good science and how to be a part of the scientific community.“


“Having been a visiting student in the group here before starting, I had a pretty good idea of what it was going to be like. With that having been said, one thing that is remarkable at Stanford is the sheer diversity of talent on campus. Stanford has some of the world’s greatest physicists, but also some of the greatest humanists, engineers, musicians, policy analysts, and so on, and brings even more in from all over the world to visit. It never really registered with me until I got here, how accessible that would all be.”

Christopher Watson, PhD candidate in Applied Physics

Chris was born in El Paso, Texas and went to the same high school as Buddy Holly after moving to Lubbock.

He is working under the direction of Prof. Kathryn Moler, using a technique called scanning SQUID (Superconducting QUantum Interference Device) microscopy to do magnetic imaging at extremely low temperatures. He mostly studies exotic superconductors.

Other degrees: BS in Applied Physics from Caltech; MSc in Applied Physics, with a concentration in Quantum Nanoscience,  from TU Delft in the Netherlands.

His favorite place on campus is the Keith Memorial Terrace, the little fountain behind MemChu with the rose bushes. He likes to poke back there after the University Public Worship service, before heading back to lab, quite literally to stop and smell the roses.

Photographed in his lab in front of Beatrice, a He-3 cryostat, on November 14, 2015.