Introducing Harvey Kaplan

Written by Rachel Kohn on . Posted in Young Professionals Spotlight

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Harvey Kaplan, 26, grew up near Chicago and currently lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. He earned a degree in physics from Purdue University before moving to Maryland for grad school. (Fun fact: Harvey played saxophone in the Purdue Jazz Band.)

Harvey is currently working on a PhD in experimental AMO (atomic, molecular, and optical) physics at University of Maryland.

Your life is a book — what is the title of this chapter?

“Looking Ahead.” At this point in my life, most of what I work on and think about has to do with setting myself up for the future.

What is the most gratifying aspect of your work?

Working on a complicated experiment presents many challenges. It is very rewarding when I figure out how to improve the experiment or explain its behavior.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy reading, playing saxophone and clarinet, and outdoor activities like hiking and canoeing.

Where was the last place you traveled to?

I most recently traveled to Ft. Lauderdale to present my graduate work at a physics conference. Aside from the conference, I enjoyed eating at some great kosher restaurants in the Miami area.

Describe yourself in one word.

Punctual. I really like to be on time.

If you could live in any era, which would you choose?

Sometime around the 1800s or the turn of the 20th century. In that era there was plenty of foresightful and fundamental progress in science and technology.

What do you like about the Jewish community in Silver Spring?

Its warmth.

Yanny or Laurel?

I heard something else…

If you could meet anyone, who would it be?

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks. He is full of great experience and insight; it would be great to learn from him personally.

Interviewed by Rachel Kohn