Calvin Leung

I am an NASA Einstein Fellow at UC Berkeley in the Department of Astronomy. I am a member of the CHIME/FRB Collaboration, and did my PhD at MIT Physics with Kiyo Masui. Since 2018 I've been playing a leading role in the CHIME/FRB Outriggers Project, which aims to VLBI-localize hundreds of fast radio bursts (FRBs) to 50 mas precision over CHIME's entire 200 deg^2 field of view every year. These FRBs and their redshifts will open up a new tracer of baryonic large-scale structure. FRBs are also a fast, compact, and ubiquitous transient (one FRB hits Earth every 2 minutes!) to use as unique backlights for gravitational lensing.

Starting in September 2024, I will be a Miller Fellow at UC Berkeley. I'll continue my work with CHIME/FRB in collaboration with the Radio Astronomy Lab (Dave DeBoer), as well as folks in the Department of Astronomy (Wenbin Lu) and Department of Physics (Liang Dai). I maintain very broad scientific interests, and am always happy to have conversations about quantum optics, the foundations of quantum mechanics, and new developments in atomic physics and astrophysics.

Email me at [three-letter acronym for fast radio burst] [at symbol]


I am looking for a job! My references are Kiyo Masui (MIT), David Kaiser (MIT), and Matt Dobbs (McGill). You may also contact Vicky Kaspi (McGill), Alan Guth (MIT), or Jason Gallicchio (Harvey Mudd College).

First and co-first author papers

My expertise is in very long baseline interferometric localizations of FRBs and using FRBs in gravitational lensing.

  1. A Python and HDF5 based VLBI Correlator for widefield, transient VLBI
    In preparation.
  2. A fast radio burst localized at detection to a galactic disk using very long baseline interferometry
  3. Wave Mechanics, Interference, and Decoherence in Strong Gravitational Lensing
  4. Constraining Primordial Black Holes using Fast Radio Burst Gravitational-Lens Interferometry with CHIME/FRB
  5. A High-Time Resolution Search for Compact Objects using Fast Radio Burst Gravitational Lens Interferometry with CHIME/FRB
  6. A Synoptic VLBI Technique for Localizing Non-Repeating Fast Radio Bursts with CHIME/FRB
  7. Testing the Weak Equivalence Principle using Optical and Near-Infrared Crab Pulses
  8. Astronomical random numbers for quantum foundations experiments
  9. Measuring the spatial resolution of an optical system in an undergraduate optics laboratory
  10. Estimation of Unmodeled Gravitational Wave Transients with Spline Regression and Particle Swarm Optimization

Supporting Author Papers

I take pride in playing a strong supporting role to my colleagues, many of whom have become my close friends.

  1. TONE: A CHIME/FRB Outrigger Pathfinder for localizations of Fast Radio Bursts using Very Long Baseline Interferometry
  2. Axion dark matter-induced echo of supernova remnants
  3. Scintillation Timescales of Bright FRBs Detected by CHIME/FRB
    Led by my student, Eve Schoen (MIT class of 2022)
  4. Localizing FRBs through VLBI with the Algonquin Radio Observatory 10-m Telescope
  5. Evaluating and Enhancing Candidate Clocking Systems for CHIME/FRB VLBI Outriggers
    Led by my student, Savannah Cary (Wellesley class of 2022)
  6. A clock stabilization system for CHIME/FRB Outriggers

Papers outside astrophysics

Significant papers from my past life outside astrophysics, from atomic physics to quantum optics. The Cosmic Bell test in particular was an unforgettable, swashbuckling adventure which led me from the foothills of Los Angeles to the summits of La Palma. It was perhaps the final Bell test done before my supervisor Anton Zeilinger (along with Aspect and Clauser) won the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics for their work in this area.

  1. Evidence of Two-Source King Plot Nonlinearity in Spectroscopic Search for New Boson
  2. Evidence for Nonlinear Isotope Shift in Yb+ Search for New Boson
  3. Cosmic Bell Test Using Measurement Settings from High-Redshift Quasars
  4. Cosmic Bell Test: Measurement Settings from Milky Way Stars

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Activism

I am proud to have been an outspoken and active organizer for the MIT Graduate Student Union since its inception in 2018. We now represent one of the largest graduate student bargaining units in the country. I was a member of the MIT Kavli Institute Anti-Racism Task Force formed as an institutional response to ShutDownSTEM during the Strike for Black Lives in 2020, as well as a member of the student support group PhysREFS (Resources for Easing Friction and Stress) since 2018. In a past life, my supervisor Jason Gallicchio (Harvey Mudd) and I figured out a way to teach Bell's famous inequality in 3 minutes, complete with dealers, casinos, and using giant foam dice as props. This became an award-winning presentation at the Boston Museum of Science's Quantum Matters Science Communication Competition.

Music and Random Stuff

I'm an avid cellist and I love playing chamber music! Here's a list of pieces I've performed before, mostly with Sylvia Biscoveanu (also an Einstein Fellow!), William Wang, Katherine Young, and other members of the MIT Chamber Music Society, in roughly chronological order:
  1. Smetana - String Quartet #1 (I love this, especially the jolly second movement)
  2. Kodaly - Duo for Violin and Cello (This grew on me the more I played it)
  3. Tchaikovsky - Piano Trio #1 (Quite a marathon, and maybe my favorite chamber piece of all time. I don't know when I'll play it next.)
  4. Brahms - Piano Quartet #1 (I thought this was wild until I saw Schoenberg's orchestral arrangement of it. I especially love Mvt. 3)
  5. Mendelssohn - Octet #1 (No, I have not played Mvt 4, but I will someday.)
  6. Schumann - Piano Quintet #1 (Barely played this due to COVID-19)
  7. Schubert - Piano Trio #2 (This was probably the most difficult thing I've ever performed, maybe aside from the Shostakovich. The famous second movement is based on a haunting Finnish folk song)
  8. Shostakovich - Piano Trio #2 (I am still scared of the opening cello solo)
  9. Schumann - Piano Quartet #1 (Love the second movement)
  10. Beethoven - Piano Trio (Archduke) #7 (Love the third movement)
  11. Brahms - Piano Quintet #1 (The piano/cello/violin in Mvt. 2 is sublime)
  12. Mendelssohn - Piano Trio #2 (Working on this right now!)
This is an incomplete chamber music wish list, in no particular order:
  1. Beethoven - String Quartet #15 (mostly, Mvt. 3, the Heiliger Dankgesang)
  2. Mendelssohn - Piano Trio #1
  3. Mendelssohn - String Quartet #2
  4. Shostakovich - String Quartet #8
  5. Elgar - Piano Quintet
  6. Brahms - String Sextet #1 & 2 (No. 1 makes me think of autumn, and has intricate, interweaving melody and harmony lines.)
  7. Borodin - String Quartet #2 (I've read Mvt. 2 but not the rest)
  8. Dvorak - String Quartet #12 (American -- I actually played Mvt. 4 when I was in seventh grade, but I feel this is worth re-visiting as a more experienced musician)
  9. Smetana - Piano Trio #1
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