Physicist Dr. Abhay Deshpande has been appointed to lead the Center for Frontiers in Nuclear Science (CFNS), a new research center formed to lead the efforts to resolve one of the deep mysteries of the Universe. For the last 5 decades, physicists have known that protons and neutrons, the building blocks of the entire visible universe, are formed out of quarks and gluons. The interactions amongst quarks and gluons are governed by a theory called Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD). However, exactly how the interactions happen inside protons and neutrons to make them what they are: how their properties emerge from the collective interactions of quarks and gluons, is still a mystery, and one of the most challenging problems in physics today. A new collider accelerator facility called the Electron Ion Collider (EIC) is needed to address some of these questions.
Two world class research organizations, Stony Brook University, a top public university in the US, and one of the premier nuclear physics labs of the US Department of Energy, The Brookhaven National Laboratory, have come together under the leadership of Dr. Deshpande, to form this Center. A generous grant from the Simons Foundation and a complementary one from the University/NY State together, have made this Center possible.
Most difficult problems in Physics have in the past been solved by the collective wisdom and effort of a great many scientists working together, on research problems. With his new role, Dr. Deshpande hopes exactly this to happen. The Center will be the hub for scientists around the world interested in helping the realization of the EI Collider, and eventually solving the mystery of matter.
Dr. Deshpande, who dedicated his entire life to understand aspects of nature that were most intriguing to him. The problem of the proton and neutron structure emerging from quarks and gluons has been on his mind for the last 25 years. During these years, he has performed experiments at CERN (the European Nuclear & Particle Physics Laboratory) in Geneva, Switzerland, at the German national laboratory called DESY, in Hamburg, Germany, and in the past few years he has been experimenting at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, NY and at the Thomas Jefferson Laboratory in Newport News, Virginia. What he learnt in all these experiments has resulted in the proposal for the Electron Ion Collider which he hopes to help realize in the next decade.
Abhay grew up in Vile Parle, Mumbai. He is a graduate of Parle Tilak Vidyalaya, and the Mumbai University. He did his M.Sc. from IIT Kanpur and Ph.D. from Yale University in New Haven, CT. This doctoral thesis was focused on understanding some of the rarest decays in (the Universe) of a particle called Kaon, which carries some very strange quarks.