Manuel Caldaron de la Barca Sanchez served as the science advisor for Secrets of the Universe. Born in Mexico City, he is the son of a tenacious father who believed in the value of education and a mother who always encouraged him “to spread his wings and follow his dreams.“ As a child, Manuel wanted to be a firefighter, but soon grew to love math, especially as it related to physics. At a certain point, he says he realized that, “the math was not just leading you to solve a clever puzzle, but it was telling you something about how things in nature behaved, how nature worked.“ He studied engineering physics and ultimately won a summer research internship at CERN, where he honed his focus to the study of particle physics and the fundamental building blocks of matter.
Today, Manuel is a professor and researcher with the UC Davis Physics department, specializing in experimental high energy heavy ion collisions. He spends much of his time at the LHC focusing on his research.