Nanotechnology Now

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


Home > Press > Calculating a particle spectrum in lattice QCD

Christopher Thomas
Christopher Thomas

In a quiet office at DOE's Jefferson Lab, you can find Christopher Thomas at his desk poring over computer code. A physicist, Thomas is working to combine theory work with existing computer code to render parts of the theory of quantum chromodynamics into a computer-solvable form, called lattice QCD.

Calculating a particle spectrum in lattice QCD

Newport News, VA | Posted on May 11th, 2010

The theory of quantum chromodynamics, or QCD, describes how quarks make up protons, neutrons and other particles. Thomas is particularly interested in how QCD describes mesons, which are particles made of a quark and an anti-quark.

"I'm working on how to formulate the problem—how to write code to use lattice QCD to produce the results that we can then interpret," Thomas said. "Then we try to relate the results to experiment and models."

The oldest of three sons, Thomas was born in Bristol in the U.K. He said he has always been attracted to science and is interested in how things work.

"Originally I was attracted to aspects of chemistry, being fascinated by the structure of atoms and how they built up. But by the time I was in secondary school, I had discovered quarks," he recalled.

Thomas received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Cambridge and then completed his Ph.D. in Theoretical Particle Physics at Oxford. He came to Jefferson Lab in October 2008 as a Theory Postdoctoral Fellow.

"I have really enjoyed working with Jo Dudek, Robert Edwards and David Richards as part of the Hadron Spectrum Collaboration. We use Lattice Quantum Chromodynamics to calculate the spectrum and properties of mesons, performing calculations on the large computers here at the lab."

Thomas had only been to the U.S. once before coming to work at Jefferson Lab and has enjoyed seeing more of the country during his stay, including Seattle, Denver and the Washington, D.C. area. He says the biggest shock on arriving in the U.S. was the fact that you have to drive everywhere.

"I was much more accustomed to an environment where biking and walking were the norm," says Thomas, an avid hiker.

In addition to research, Thomas also co-organizes seminars for the Theory Center.

"I'm enjoying my time at the lab and especially the interactions with the many people who work here and visit. It's a great place to be at this time in physics."


About Jefferson Lab
The Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab) is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science with strong support from the City of Newport News and the Commonwealth of Virginia. As a user facility for scientists worldwide, its primary mission is to conduct basic research of the atom's nucleus at the quark level.

With industry and university partners, Jefferson Lab also has a derivative mission: applied research for using the Free-Electron Lasers based on technology developed at the lab to conduct physics experiments. Additionally, as a center for both basic and applied research, Jefferson Lab reaches out to help educate the next generation in science and technology.

Jefferson Lab is managed and operated for the DOE by the Jefferson Science Associates, LLC. JSA is a limited liability corporation created by Southeastern Universities Research Association and Computer Sciences Corp. specifically to manage and operate Jefferson Lab.

For more information, please click here

Copyright © Jefferson Lab

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

The next step in DNA computing: GPS mapping? May 6th, 2015

Improving Clinical Care and Patient Quality of Life in Advanced Liver Disease, d-LIVER Workshop, Milan, 27 May 2015 May 6th, 2015

Grafoid Acquires MuAnalysis Inc; Expands Its Advanced Materials Testing Capabilities May 6th, 2015

Winner Announced for NNI’s First ‘EnvisioNano’ Nanotechnology Image Contest May 6th, 2015


Oxford Instruments announces winners of the 2015 Sir Martin Wood Science Prize for China May 2nd, 2015

Electron chirp: Cyclotron radiation from single electrons measured directly for first time: Method has potential to measure neutrino mass and look beyond the Standard Model of the universe April 29th, 2015

Quantum particles at play: Game theory elucidates the collective behavior of bosons April 29th, 2015

Weighing -- and imaging -- molecules one at a time April 28th, 2015

Quantum nanoscience

Quantum particles at play: Game theory elucidates the collective behavior of bosons April 29th, 2015

When mediated by superconductivity, light pushes matter million times more April 28th, 2015

More is less in novel electronic material: Adding electrons actually shrinks the system April 27th, 2015

Quantum 'paparazzi' film photons in the act of pairing up April 22nd, 2015

The latest news from around the world, FREE

  Premium Products
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More

Nanotechnology Now Featured Books


The Hunger Project