As a theoretical nuclear physicist I research finite temperature Quantum Chromodynamic, aka I try to understand the strong nuclear force, the force that controls the smallest known building blocks of nature (quarks and gluons). Specifically, I want to know how these quarks and gluons behave when heated to trillions of degrees, the temperature of the early universe a microsecond after the Big Bang. At that moment, the universe was filled with a quark-gluon plasma (QGP), a perfect fluid that we re-create in the Little Bangs of particle accelerators.
Quarkonium: These particles, made from a heavy quark and its antiquark, have been considered the golden signals for quark-gluon plasma (QGP) formation in relativistic heavy ion collisions. If a QGP forms, the existence of this hot medium will manifest in the melting of quarkonium. Different quarkonium species have different melting temperatures allowing us to use quarkonium states as a QGP thermometer. Understanding quarkonium at finite temperature allows us to learn about the properties and evolution of the QGP.
Fluctuations: The QGP is formed in the lab by colliding heavy nuclei, such as lead or gold. The initial energy density of the colliding nuclei is very lumpy. We can analyze the collisions only by looking at what comes out of from the collision zone to the detectors. By studying the fluctuations and correlations of the end particles, we can learn how efficient the QGP is at converting the lumpiness in the initial state into the emitted particles.
Hydrogen-like atoms: These are atoms made out of a lepton, an electron or muon, and some more massive particle, such as a proton (the nuclesu of a hydrogen atom). These loosely bound combinations can be formed from the remnants of the QGP. Observing them will give us more information about the leptons that are directly produced in the QGP, disentangled from the majority measured in the detector coming from other sources.
Phase Diagram: Just like H2O can come in phases, such as liquid (water), solid (ice), and gas (steam), quarks and gluons can form different phases, too. As matter is heated and/or compressed, quarks and gluons can transition from a state where they are bound in composite particles to a plasma state. Effective field theory models are used to study how that transition occurs and map out the details of the phase diagram.
Author of 34 peer reviewed articles (7 of which have 100+ citations), one review article, 3 news articles, 26 conference proceedings.
Given 90+ oral presentations in more than 20 countries.
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Worked with Brookhaven Lab for several years, and Duke University. I can work with you too. Let's talk.