I study applications of quantum field theory in nuclear physics and related topics. For example, I try to find new mathematical ways to study the phase diagram of quantum chromodynamics to predict new phase transitions or to better understand known transitions. Along the way I study phenomena like color confinement and chiral symmetry breaking in quantum chromodynamics, the theory underlying nuclear physics, explore simpler related theories to build intuition, and develop new tools to study quantum field theory in general.
What happens when matter is so greatly compressed that nuclei overlap to form super-dense nuclear matter, as in a neutron star? What happens when matter is so highly heated that protons and neutrons melt into quarks and gluons, as in the early universe? Both states of matter are now being studied experimentally by colliding large nuclei at RHIC and LHC and in the future at new accelerators located in Germany and Russia. I use quantum field theory at finite temperature and density, relativistic hydrodynamics, and the anti-de Sitter - conformal field theory correspondence arising from D-branes in string theory to study the matter produced in high energy heavy ion collisions, in neutron stars, and in the early universe.
Image Courtesy of McGill University collaborators
My research aims to answer the following questions: (1) How were the chemical elements produced in the universe? (2) How did the universe get enriched in these elements? (3) How did galaxies form? (4) How did fundamental particles, especially neutrinos, influence the above processes?
Benjamin Bayman (emeritus)
The structure and dynamics of atomic nuclei.