The University of Tennessee College of Arts and Sciences
A-Z Index  /  WebMail  /  Dept. Directory

Department of Physics & Astronomy

Relativistic Heavy Ion Physics


Relativistic Heavy Ion Physics Research Group   

The research of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Physics (RHIP) group is focused on the study of nuclear matter at extreme temperatures and densities, which is a new and exciting field on the borderline between nuclear and high energy physics. At these extreme conditions of temperature and density nuclear matter will undergo a phase transition to a Quark-Gluon Plasma. In this new phase nuclear matter does not any more consist primarily of protons and neutrons, but instead of deconfined quarks and gluons. Experimentally we are creating high temperature nuclear matter by colliding heavy nuclei (heavy ions) at very high energies (ultrarelativistic energies) at nuclear accelerators.

Our group is participating in two experiments, PHENIX and ALICE. The PHENIX experiment is at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) and ALICE is at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). The RHIC accelerator was ready in 2000 and PHENIX has been taken data since 2001, while ALICE started to take data in November 2010.

The permanent part of our group consists of professors Ken Read and Soren Sorensen. We usually have one post-doc and 2-4 students working with us. The people currently in the RHIP group can be seen on our people page.

RHIP Information: