Pappalardo Fellows

Pappalardo Fellow in Physics: 2017-2020

Michael Wagman

Name: Michael Wagman

Title(s): Pappalardo Fellow in Physics: 2017-2020


PHONE: (617) 253-6262

OFFICE: 6c-405

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Area of Physics:

Theoretical Nuclear & Particle Physics

Research Interests

Michael Wagman aims to quantitatively understand how complex phenomena in nuclear physics emerge from the relatively simple interactions of quarks and gluons described by the Standard Model of particle physics. Understanding how the basic building blocks of matter are assembled to form nuclei and atoms as well as exotic phases of matter is a fundamental physics challenge and has applications to predictive modeling of nuclear structure and reactions, neutron stars and nuclear astrophysics, and searches for beyond the Standard Model physics.

Using lattice QCD and effective field theory techniques, Wagman has calculated properties of nuclear structure and reactions including proton-proton fusion, double-beta decay, and the gluonic structure of light nuclei directly from the Standard Model interactions of quarks and gluons. First principles studies of stellar burning and gluon structure as well as future experimental searches for beyond the Standard Model fundamental symmetry violation will require refined versions of these calculations with larger nuclei. These and other lattice QCD calculations of larger nuclei are challenging in part because of an exponentially hard signal-to-noise problem. Wagman has connected the lattice QCD signal-to-noise problem to the sign problem and the statistics of circular random variables, and he is currently pursuing statistical strategies to mitigate the sign/signal-to-noise problem.

Biographical Sketch

Wagman grew up near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He received a BSc in mathematical physics from Brown University, where he explored research ranging from biophysical modeling of magnetic forces on microorganisms to numerical simulations of black holes. He went on to complete a PhD at the University of Washington under the supervision of Prof. Martin Savage where his thesis focused on the lattice QCD signal-to-noise problem. When he's not simulating the universe, he enjoys rock climbing, music, and yoga.

Selected Publications

  • M. L. Wagman and M. J. Savage, "On the Statistics of Baryon Correlation Functions in Lattice QCD,'' arXiv:1611.07643 [hep-lat].
  • M. J. Savage, P. E. Shanahan, B. C. Tiburzi, M. L. Wagman, F. Winter, S. R. Beane, E. Chang, Z. Davoudi, W. Detmold, and K. Orginos, "Proton-Proton Fusion and Tritium Beta Decay from Lattice Quantum Chromodynamics,'' Phys. Rev. Lett. 119, 062002 (2017) arXiv:1610.04545 [hep-lat].
  • P. E. Shanahan, B. C. Tiburzi, M. L. Wagman, F. Winter, E. Chang, Z. Davoudi, W. Detmold, K. Orginos, M. Savage, "Isotensor Axial Polarizability and Lattice QCD Input for Nuclear Double-Beta Decay Phenomenology,'' Phys. Rev. Lett. 119, 062003 (2017) arXiv:1701.03456 [hep-lat].
  • A. Cherman, S. Sen, M. Unsal, M. L. Wagman and L. G. Yaffe, "Order parameters and color-flavor center symmetry in QCD,'' Phys. Rev. Lett. 119, 222001 (2017) arXiv:1706.05385 [hep-th].
  • F. Winter, W. Detmold, A. S. Gambhir, K. Orginos, M. J. Savage, P. E. Shanahan and M. L. Wagman, "First lattice QCD study of the gluonic structure of light nuclei,'' Phys. Rev. D 96, 094512 (2017) arXiv:1709.00395 [hep-lat].

Last updated on November 29, 2017 4:03 PM