Or Hen, Assistant Professor of Physics

Assistant Professor of Physics

EMAIL: hen@mit.edu

PHONE: (617) 258-0541

OFFICE: 26-419 (Office) 26-445 (Lab)

ASSISTANT: Anna Marie Convertino (617) 253-2391


Area of Physics:

Experimental Nuclear & Particle Physics

Research Interests

Professor Hen’s research focuses on studies of QCD effects in the nuclear medium, and the interplay between partonic and nucleonic degrees of freedom in nuclei. Specifically, Hen uses high-energy electron, neutrino, photon, and proton scattering off atomic nuclei to study Short-Range Correlations (SRCs): Temporal fluctuations of high-density, high-momentum, nucleon clusters in nuclei. These pairs account for almost all high-momentum (k>k_F) nucleon in nuclei and are a leading candidate for non-nucleonic configurations in nuclei. 

Hen and collaborators conducted experiments at the US based Thomas-Jefferson and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratories, as well as other accelerators around the world, where they study the structure and characteristics of SRC pairs and examined their effect on various topics in nuclear, particle, atomic and astrophysics. For example, in a recent series of publications Hen and collaborators have shown that SRCs in atomic nuclei are predominantly neutron-proton pairs and demonstrated its significant implications to quark distributions in nuclei (the "EMC effect"); the free (un-bound) neutron structure; generalization of effective theories for two-component Fermi-gases to atomic nuclei, the nuclear symmetry energy and neutron stars structure; and more.

Biographical Sketch

Or Hen grew up in Moshav Even-Sapir, in the countryside of Jerusalem, Israel. He received his undergraduate degree in physics and computer engineering from the Hebrew University and earned his PhD in experimental physics at Tel-Aviv University. Before joining the MIT physics faculty in July 2017, Hen was an MIT Pappalardo Fellow in Physics from 2015-2017.

Hen received various prizes and fellowships for his work to date, including the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship (2020), APS Stuart J. Freedman Award in Experimental Nuclear Physics (2019), U.S. DOE Office of Science Early Career Scientist and Engineer Award (2019), IUPAP Young Scientist Prize in Nuclear Physics (2019), G. Altarelli award (2018), Amar G. Bose Fellowship (2018), Fermi Lab Intensity-Frontier fellowship (2016), Rothschild Fellowship (2015), MIT Pappalardo Fellowship (2015), Jefferson Science Association dissertation prizes (2016), Israeli Physics Society dissertation prizes (2015), A. Pazi Award of the Israeli Council for Higher Education (2013) and the Y. Eisenberg Prize of Tel-Aviv University (2011).

Selected Publications

See full list from iNSPIRE HEP here.

  • A. Schmidt J.R. Pybus R. Weiss E.P. Segarra A. Hrnjic A. Dennistonand O. Hen et al. (CLAS Collaboration), "Probing the core of the strong nuclear interaction”, Nature 578, 540 (2020).
  • R. Cruz Torres D. Nguyen F. Hauenstein and A. Schmidt et al. (Tritium Collaboration), “Probing few-body nuclear dynamics via 3H and 3He (e,e′p)pn cross-section measurements”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 124, 212501 (2020).
  • B. Schmookler M. Duer A. Schmidt and O. Hen et al. (CLAS Collaboration) "Modified Structure of Protons and Neutrons in Correlated Pairs”, Nature 566, 354 (2019).
  • M. Duer, A. Schmidt, J.R. Pybus, E.P. Segarra, A.W. Denniston, and O. Hen et al. (CLAS Collaboration), "Direct Observation of Proton-Neutron Short-Range Correlation Dominance in Heavy Nuclei”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 122, 172502 (2019).
  • M. Duer and O. Hen et al. (CLAS Collaboration), "Probing High Momentum Protons and Neutrons in Neutron-Rich Nuclei”, Nature 560, 617 (2018).
  • E.O. Cohen and O. Hen et al. (CLAS Collaboration) "Center of mass motion of short-range correlated nucleon pairs studied via the A(e,e'pp) reaction”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 121, 092501 (2018).
  • R. Weiss R. Cruz-Torres N. Barnea E. Piasetzky and O. Hen, "The Nuclear Contacts and Short-Range Correlations in Nuclei”, Phys. Lett. B 780 211 (2018).
  • O. Hen G.A. Miller E. Piasetzky and L.B. Weinstein "Nucleon-Nucleon Correlations, Short-lived Excitations, and the Quarks Within”, Rev. Mod. Phys. 89, 045002 (2017).
  • O. Hen et al. (CLAS Collaboration), "Momentum Sharing in Imbalanced Fermi Systems”, Science 346 614 (2014).
  • L. B. Weinstein E. Piasetzky D. W. Higinbotham J. Gomez O. Hen and R. Shneor "Short Range correlations and the EMC Effect”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 052301 (2011).

Last updated on July 15, 2020 4:18 PM