Stony Brook University Physics Professor Named Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
Dmitri E. Kharzeev, Ph.D., conducts research at Stony Brook and Brookhaven National Laboratory that investigates the symmetries in super-dense matter and in the Universe
STONY BROOK, N.Y., January 18, 2011 – Dmitri E. Kharzeev, Ph.D., Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Stony Brook University and a Senior Scientist at
Brookhaven National Laboratory, has been named a Fellow of the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for his “distinguished contributions to the field of theoretical nuclear physics, specifically the understanding of relativistic heavy ion physics.”
“I am humbled by the honor bestowed upon me by the AAAS, the world’s largest scientific society,” said Dr. Kharzeev. “I am also very grateful to my colleagues at Stony Brook University and Brookhaven National Laboratory for their generous support, and to the Department of Energy for funding my research.”
The AAAS has awarded the distinction of Fellow to 503 of its members this year. These individuals have been elevated to this rank because of their efforts toward advancing science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished. New Fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin on Saturday, February19, at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2011 AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Kharzeev’s research deals with “the fundamental symmetries of nature, and the ways in which the breaking of these symmetries at micro-scales in super-dense matter can affect the present-day universe,” he said. “Specifically, six years ago I proposed the possibility that the symmetry between left and right (so-called ‘parity invariance’) could be locally broken in quark-gluon plasma, and that this symmetry breaking should manifest itself in the asymmetry in the emission of charged particles in heavy ion collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC)” at Brookhaven National Laboratory.
Experiments at RHIC, in which the Stony Brook professors are heavily involved, have recently found evidence of this effect, as reported earlier this year in The New York Times .
Those experiments involved using the RHIC to accelerate gold nuclei around a 2.4-mile underground ring to just under the speed of light and then colliding them in order to melt protons and neutrons and free their constituent quarks and gluons. The scientists had been trying for years to achieve a state of matter known as quark-gluon plasma, which is believed to have existed at the birth of the universe.
The process involved defying a law of physics known as parity, in which there is symmetry between left and right.
“The mechanism by which the symmetry between left and right is broken in super-dense matter is thought to be very close to the mechanism by which the symmetry between matter and anti-matter was broken in the Early Universe,” said Dr. Kharzeev. “Without the breaking of this symmetry, the matter and anti-matter would annihilate in the early moments of the Universe’s existence leaving behind only radiation – and no material to build the stars, planets and humans.”
Other articles regarding Dr. Kharzeev’s work and RHIC findings include Newsweek (2010); New Scientist (2010); and,
Dmitri Kharzeev received his Ph.D. in particle and nuclear physics at Moscow State University in 1990. He then spent two postdoctoral years in the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics, three years in the Theory Division at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, and a year at Bielefeld University in Germany. In 1997 he joined the newly created RIKEN-BNL Research Center at Brookhaven National Laboratory under direction of Prof. T.D. Lee, a Nobel laureate.
In 2000 he became a scientist with tenure at BNL. He was head of the Nuclear Theory group there from 2004 to 2010. Under his leadership, the BNL group has become the highest ranked nuclear theory group in the U.S. National laboratories system. Since 2007, he has also been an adjunct professor at Yale University.
In 2010, Dr. Kharzeev became a professor at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Stony Brook. He continues to hold the Senior Scientist appointment at BNL.
His research interests include quantum chromodynamics, heavy ion collisions, and tests of fundamental symmetries. He made a major contribution to the theory of multi-particle production in heavy ion collisions, Quantum Chromo-Dynamics of strong color fields, and developed the theory of heavy quark and quarkonia interactions in QCD matter.
Dr. Kharzeev has been a Fellow of the American Physical Society since 2006. In 2004 he was named an Emilio Segre Distinguished Scholar and a Sackler Fellow. He is an editor of Annals of Physics, a managing editor of International Journal of Modern Physics, and a current member of the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee for DOE and NSF.
Part of the State University of New York system, Stony Brook University encompasses 200 buildings on 1,450 acres. In the 53 years since its founding, the University has grown tremendously, now with nearly 24,700 students and 2,200 faculty and is recognized as one of the nation’s important centers of learning and scholarship. It is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, and ranks among the top 100 national universities in America and among the top 50 public national universities in the country according to the 2010 U.S. News & World Report survey. One of the four University Centers in the SUNY system, Stony Brook University co-manages Brookhaven National Laboratory, joining an elite group of universities, including Berkeley, University of Chicago, Cornell, MIT, and Princeton that run federal research and development laboratories. SBU is a driving force of the Long Island economy, with an annual economic impact of $4.65 billion, generating nearly 60,000 jobs, and accounts for nearly 4% of all economic activity in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and roughly 7.5 percent of total jobs in Suffolk County.