My research effort is focused to the study of nuclear matter.
The properties of nuclear matter are fairly well understood near normal density. Nuclear matter is made of point-like quarks and gluons, which seem to be confined inside hadrons such as protons and neutrons. When nuclear matter become compressed or heated, it must undergo a change of phase to a new state of matter, the Quark Gluon Plasma (QGP), in which quarks and gluons are free to move about within a confinement volume much larger than hadronic sizes.
Quark Gluon Plasma has also a connection to astrophysics. Due to the enormous densities and temperatures prevailing during the first microseconds after Big Bang, quarks and gluons should, in the early universe, have moved around freely. During the expansion temperatures and densities decreased and the matter today found in the universe was created.
Quark Gluon Plasma is also created in collisions at high energy particle accelerators like the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) in Long Island about 65 miles East of New York City. Currently my research effort is focusing the sPHENIX experiment at BNL that started commissioning and data taking on May 18 2023 with the goal of characterizing quarkonia and jet a lower energy and use the complementarity to the LHC data to study the energy evolution of these effects. Several nice articles were written in recent years documenting the construction and installation of the experiment: