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ODU's Balitsky Elected Fellow of American Physical Society

Physics Professor Ian Balitsky

Ian Balitsky, professor of physics at Old Dominion University, has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) for his innovative work in helping to describe the interactions of subatomic particles.

With Balitsky's election, ODU now has 13 faculty members as well as one recently retired faculty member who are APS Fellows. "This is a distinction that very few universities can claim," said Chris Platsoucas, dean of the ODU College of Sciences. "We are proud to have Professor Balitsky join the contingent of our professors chosen for this honor."

Gail Dodge, chair of the university's Department of Physics, added, "Ian Balitsky's research is of great interest to the community. He is an outstanding scholar and very deserving of this honor."

In addition to his faculty position at ODU, Balitsky is a senior staff member in the theory division at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News. His work focuses on quantum chromodynamics (QCD), a theory of the fundamental "strong" force that describes interactions of the quarks and gluons that make up the nucleus-building particles (hadrons) such as the proton and neutron.

After receiving his Ph.D. from the Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1984, Balitsky did research at Penn State and MIT before joining ODU and Jefferson Lab in 1996. He received the ODU College of Sciences Distinguished Research Award for 2010.

He has authored 60 research articles published in leading physics journals, and his work has been cited approximately 5,000 times.

The APS Fellowship citation for Balitsky attributed his election to "pioneering applications of QCD to hadron physics, in particular for development of light-cone QCD sum rules and contributions resulted in Balitsky-Fadin-Kuraev-Lipatov (BFKL) and Balitsky-Kovchegov (BK) equations."

The BK equation, which describes how the nucleus and its constituents behave at high energies, originated with work that Balitsky did in the mid-1990s. More recently he has been developing corrections that allow the equation to be relevant in experiments conducted at the extraordinarily high energies of modern-day accelerators. One such instrument is the Large Hadron Collider that began operations earlier this year on its 17-mile-long track at the border of Switzerland and France.

Together with his graduate student, Giovanni Chirilli, Balitsky published an important paper in 2008 that lays out a solution to the corrections quandary. Chirilli won a prestigious Graduate Fellowship from Jefferson Science Associates, which manages Jefferson Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy, in 2008-09 and received his Ph.D. in physics from ODU in 2009.

Other current ODU physics faculty members who are APS Fellows are: Mark Havey, professor and eminent scholar; Sebastian Kuhn, professor and eminent scholar; Anatoly Radyushkin, professor and eminent scholar; Rocco Schiavilla, professor and eminent scholar; Jay Wallace Van Orden, professor and eminent scholar; Lepsha Vuskovic, professor and eminent scholar; Lawrence Weinstein, professor and University Professor; Colm Whelan, professor and eminent scholar; Jean Delayen, professor; Charles Hyde, professor; and Geoffrey Krafft, Jefferson Lab professor.

Also an APS Fellow, whose election was announced last month, is Li Shi Luo, ODU's Richard F. Barry Jr. Distinguished Endowed Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, who was honored for his work in fluid dynamics.

Bernhard Mecking, who retired in 2008 as a Jefferson Lab professor at ODU, is also an APS Fellow.

This article was posted on: December 3, 2010

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