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Physics & Astronomy Colloquium
December 6, 2017 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Speaker: Berndt Mueller , Brookhaven National Lab / Duke University
Title: THE UNBEARABLE BURDEN OF BEING LIGHT:
Exploring the emergence of ordinary matter from quarks and gluons
Abstract: In our everyday world, quarks and gluons, forever hide inside protons and neutrons. While their fundamental properties are encoded in the theory of quantum chromodynamics (QCD), many phenomenological aspects of QCD dynamics remain poorly understood. When gluons are massless and the quarks carry only a small fraction of the mass of a nucleon, how do nucleons acquire their large mass? How does nuclear matter emerge from the hot quark-gluon plasma that permeated the universe shortly after the Big Bang? What are the limits of ordinary nuclear matter at high density, e.g. in the interior of neutron stars or neutron star mergers? My talk will explain where our investigation of these questions stands, aided by experiments at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider and elsewhere, and how future facilities, such as an Electron-Ion Collider can help us finding the answers.
Mueller, an active scientist with more than 300 peer-reviewed publications with 9,000-plus citations, is James B. Duke Professor and Director of the Center for Theoretical and Mathematical Sciences at Duke University. He currently holds the position of the Associate Laboratory Director for Nuclear & Particle Physics at the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). Mueller has a long collaborative association with Brookhaven Lab, and he recently co-authored a paper for the journal Science reviewing the scientific achievements of RHIC and outlining the complementary physics opportunities for the next decade of the LHC and RHIC experiments. He has also served on many physics review panels for both the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation. Mueller currently serves as Chair-Elect of the Division of Nuclear Physics of the American Physical Society. Mueller has held several leadership positions at Duke, including Chair of the Department of Physics, Principal Investigator for grants that expanded and supported research at the Duke Free Electron Laser Laboratory, and Divisional Dean of the Natural Sciences. He received his Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, and completed his postdoctoral studies at Yale University and the University of Washington.