Kyle W. Brown

Assistant Professor of Chemistry


Education and training

  • BS, Chemistry, Indiana University, 2012
  • PhD, Nuclear Chemistry, Washington University in St. Louis, 2016


My research focuses on using nuclear reactions to probe how neutrons and protons behave in systems ranging from atomic nuclei to neutron stars. This work is mainly split between two sub-topics, heavy-ion collisions to constrain the nuclear equation of state, and direct reactions to understand nuclear astrophysical environments. These experiments are typically performed using small arrays of charged-particle detectors. Quite often, we will use the High-Resolution Array (HiRA), which is a modular array of detectors that can be reconfigured based on the needs of each experiment. These detectors can be paired with other detectors for measuring neutrons, gamma rays, and/or heavy fragments.


I grew up in a suburb of Indianapolis. My interest in science started in elementary school after seeing a “magic show” put on by some chemists from a nearby pharmaceutical company. This interest was solidified by an excellent AP chemistry teacher, encouraging me to study chemistry in college. I started working in nuclear chemistry as an undergraduate student in my time at Indiana University, and I never looked back. I received my PhD in nuclear chemistry at Washington University in St. Louis, studying the structure of unstable nuclei that emit one or more protons. I have been at MSU since 2016, first as a postdoc and now as an assistant professor.

How students can contribute as part of my research team

Students in my group will take leading roles in the setup, execution, and analysis of these experiments. This can include the design, fabrication, and testing of new detector systems, computer simulations of the experiment, or theoretical modeling depending on the interests of the student. While my main interest is in nuclear reactions, students will also have numerous opportunities to collaborate with outside groups studying both structure and reactions, allowing them to experience a broad range of nuclear science.

Scientific publications