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Short-Range Correlations (SRC) are pairs of strongly interacting nucleons whose distance is comparable to their radii. Due to their overlapping quark distributions and strong interaction, SRC pairs serve as a bridge between low-energy nuclear structure, high-density nuclear matter, and high-energy quark distributions; with important consequences for strong-interaction physics, hadronic structure, and astrophysics. 

Our group studies SRCs using measurements of hard scattering reactions with electron, photon and radioactive Ion beams at Jefferson-Lab (USA), JINR (Russia), and GSI (Germany). Their results illuminate the interplay between nuclear and quark-gluon dynamics in nuclei.


Current activities include:

  • Exclusive SRC breakup measurements using hard nucleon knockout reactions,

  • Bound nucleon structure studied using Tagged DIS reactions,

  • High-energy inverse kinematics studies of stable and radioactive nuclei,

  • Developing an effective theoretical framework for bridging ab-initio many-body calculations and nucleon knockout reactions,

  • Development of large acceptance fast neutron detectors and laser calibration systems.

[MIT 2022 Pappalardo Colloquium]

[SRC Studies @ JINR]

Next Generation US Electron-Ion Collider (EIC)

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The US-based EIC will revolutionize our understand of the structure and properties of visible matter starting from its most fundamental constituents: quarks & gluons. By imaging the dynamics of quarks and gluons in both nucleons and atomic nuclei we will gain new insight to outstanding issues such as the partonic origin of the strong nuclear interaction; emergent properties of dense gluon systems; origin of visible mass in the universe and its relation to QCD confinement mechanisms; the modification of nucleon properties in atomic nuclei and more.

Our group co-lead the EIC Comprehensive Chromodynamics Experiment (ECCE) consortium, consisting of scientists from 98 institutions that produced the EIC detector reference design. We are now co-leading the EIC Detector-1 effort to produce a technical design, and later to realize, the first detector for the EIC. In parallel, we are working to further develop the EIC science program, with emphasis on quark-gluon level studies of correlations in nuclei using measurements of tagged DIS and QE reactions and searches for gluon distribution modification effects. The results of our studies are included in the EIC Yellow Report where they helped guide the EIC detector development and define its scientific reach.

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Precision accelerator-based neutrino oscillation measurements relay on precise and accurate modeling of the interaction of neutrinos with atomic nuclei. At the moment, our insufficient understanding of such interactions is a dominant systematic in extraction of neutrino oscillation parameters and can potentially prevent achieving the goals of next-generation  neutrino oscillation experiments such as DUNE and T2HyperK.

We constrain theoretical models of neutrino-nucleus interactions, by preforming measurements of neutrino and electron scattering reactions using the MicroBooNe (Fermilab) and CLAS (JLab) detectors. These data allow addressing outstanding issues in neutrino physics such as the accuracy of incident neutrino energy reconstruction for oscillation analyses, and constraints on searches for physics beyond the standard model. Current activities include:

  • Electrons for Neutrinos (JLab / CLAS),

  • Neutrino Interactions Event Generators (GENIE),

  • Neutrino Induced Proton Knockout (MicroBooNE).
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