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Francis Friedman Professor of Physics
Name: Wit Busza
Title(s): Francis Friedman Professor of Physics
Phone: (617) 253-7586
Assistant: Anna Marie Convertino (617) 253-2391
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Area of Physics:
Shortly after the big bang, our universe consisted of a sort of a homogeneous soup of point like particles. The hadronic part of this soup was a dense collection of quarks and gluons. Matter was in a phase called a Quark-Gluon Plasma (QGP). This soup expanded and cooled. At about a microsecond, when the universe was about the size of the solar system, the universe went through a transition (probably a phase transition). The quarks and gluons coalesced into globules of hadronic matter. For the first time hadrons (e. g. protons, neutrons, pions) were formed. Professor Busza and his group are trying to recreate and study in the laboratory, on a small scale, this transition.
In a big collider called RHIC at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, nuclei as heavy as gold are accelerated to almost the speed of light and made to collide head on with each other. In the process, unprecedented energy and matter densities are created, large enough, Prof. Busza believes, to create the QGP. Such collisions are made to occur in four locations around the RHIC collider. The Busza group has surrounded one of the interaction regions with a sophisticated instrument with which they can look at the consequences of the collisions. They hope to see evidence of the formation of a QGP and then study how it decays back into ordinary hadronic matter. This will teach us not only something about the history of the universe at a millionth of a second after the big bang, but also about the properties of hadronic matter and of the vacuum. This research project is called Phobos. Professor Busza launched, and is currently the spokesperson for, the project. Other MIT faculty involved are Profs. Gunther Roland and Bolek Wyslouch. It is part of the research effort of the MIT Laboratory for Nuclear Science (LNS).
Professor Wit Busza received the B.Sc. (1960) and Ph.D. (1964) from University College in London and joined MIT in 1969, becoming a full Professor in 1979. In 1990, he was awarded the Buechner Prize for Outstanding Contributions to the Education Program in the Department of Physics, and in 1993 he was awarded the School of Science Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching at MIT. In 1995, Professor Busza was appointed a Margaret MacVicar Faculty Fellow. He is a member of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences and a fellow of the American Physical Society.
- Back, BB et al., "The PHOBOS Perspective on Discoveries at RHIC", submitted to Nucl. Phys. A (2004) nucl-ex/0410022.
- Busza, W, "Structure and Fine Structure in Multiparticle Production Data at High Energies", Acta Phys.Polon.B 35: 2873-2894 (2004) nucl-ex/0410035.
- Busza, W, RL Jaffe, J Sandweiss, F Wilczek, "Review of Speculative 'Disaster Scenarios' at RHIC", Rev.Mod.Phys. 72:1125-1140 (2000) hep-ph/9910333.
- Abe K, I Abt, CJ Ahn, et al., "Measurement of Alpha(S)(M(Z)(2)) From Hadronic Event Observables At The Z(0) Resonance", Phys Rev D 51 (3): 962-984 (1995).
- Busza, W, "Review of Data Related to our Understanding of the Attenuation of Photons (Real and Virtual) and Hadrons as They Pass Through Nuclear Matter", Nucl.Phys.A 544: 49-64 (1992).
- Busza, W and R Ledoux, "Energy Deposition in High-Energy Proton-Nucleus Collisions", Ann. Rev. Nucl. Part. Sci. 38: 119-159 (1988).
- Busza, W and AS Goldhaber, "Nuclear Stopping Power", Phys. Lett. 139B: 235 (1984).
- Barton, DS, GW Brandenburg, W Busza, et al., "Experimental-Study of the A-Dependence of Inclusive Hadron Fragmentation", Phys Rev D 27 (11): 2580-2599 (1983).
- Elias, JE et al., "An Experimental Study of Multiparticle Production in Hadron-Nucleus Interactions at High-Energy", Phys. Rev. D 22: 13 (1980).
- Busza, W, "Review of Experimental Data on Hadron-Nucleus Collisions at High-Energies", Acta Phys.Polon.B 8:333 (1977).
- Busza, W, JE Elias, DF Jacobs, et al., "Charged-Particle Multiplicity in Pi-Nucleus Interactions at 100 and 175 GeV-C", Phys. Rev. Lett. 34 (13): 836-839 (1975).