ULRICH J. BECKER, Professor of Physics

Professor of Physics, Emeritus

EMAIL: becker@lns.mit.edu

PHONE: (617) 253-5822

OFFICE: 44–123B

ASSISTANT: Charles Suggs (617) 253-8363


Area of Physics:

High Energy Physics

In The News

Career History

  • Ph.D., Physics, University of Hamburg, 1968
  • Assistant Professor, MIT Physics, 1969-1973
  • Associate Professor, MIT Physics, 1973-1984
  • Professor, MIT Physics, 1984-2011
  • Professor Emeritus, MIT Physics, 2011-Present

Awards and Honors

  • 2006 - American Physical Society Fellow
  • 2002 - NASA Recognition Letter for Success in the First AMS Flight

Research Interests

Professor Becker's research interests include:

  • Experimental high energy physics
  • How matter is created from energy
  • "Periodic System" behind the masses of leptons and quarks
  • The role of force carriers / the related Vector mesons: photon, rho, omega, phi, J…….Z0
  • Is there Anti-Matter left from the big bang? What particles constitute Dark Matter?

Starting at DESY, Hamburg, Germany, Professor Becker's research first focused on the complex nature of the photon. He showed that all Vector–mesons behave like heavy photons, i.e., display diffraction and convert back to (virtual) photons. In search for more of such spin =1 particles, he was involved in the discovery of the J particle, which started the field of "charmed" matter and later evidence for the Gluon.

Presently, Prof. Becker primarily works on the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), searching for Anti- and Dark matter from space using a TRD to isolate positrons. He also develops new particle detectors for the next Linear Collider, using the MIT Cyclotron as a magnet.

Biographical Sketch

Professor Becker studied GeV photon interactions for his Ph.D., received in 1968 from the University of Hamburg, Germany. He joined MIT in 1969 as an Assistant Professor and designed a precision spectrometer for an experiment at Brookhaven National Laboratory, discovering the J particle. Professor Becker was promoted to Associate Professor in 1973 and full Professor in 1978.

Selected Publications

  • "AMS-01: First Flight, First Results, Future AMS-02", U. Becker, High Light Plenary Talk XXVI ICRC, Salt Lake City (1999), 335.
  • "Understanding the Impact of Additives with Large Inelastic Cross Sections on Drift Chamber Performance", E.Fortunato, U.Becker et al., NIM A335 (1999), 439.
  • "Determination of the Number of Light Neutrino Species from Single Photon Production at LEP", Phys.Lett. B 431 (1998), 199.
  • "Discovery of Three–Jet Events and Test of QCD at PETRA", Phys.Rev.Lett. 43, 12 (1979), 830.
  • "Experimental Observation of a Heavy Particle J", Phys.Rev.Lett. 33,23 (1974), 1404.
  • "Experimental Test of the Vector Dominance Model", Phys.Rev.Lett. 20,5 (1968) 227.

Last updated on April 23, 2018 10:28 AM