Roy A. Lacey, Professor
B.S. University of the West Indies, 1978
Ph.D. State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1987
Research Fellow, Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique (CEA) at the Centre d'Etudes Nucleaires de Saclay, France, 1988-1989
Research Fellow, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) GANIL, Caen, France, 1989-1990
Research Fellow, National SuperConducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL), Michigan State University, 1990-1991
Phone: (631) 632-7955
Energetic collisions between heavy nuclei very often lead to nuclear matter at high energy densities. Such collisions provide unique opportunities for the investigation of nuclear matter under extreme conditions of temperature and pressure and hence, allow for a study of the nuclear matter phase diagram in regions different from normal nuclear matter density and temperature. In this regard, it is significant to note that theoretical efforts have identified two particularly important regions in this phase diagram. One corresponds to a liquid-gas phase transition and the other to a transition to the quark gluon plasma. Neither region has been unambiguously identified experimentally.
Our research is currently focused on a characterization of the statistical and dynamical properties of nuclear matter created in heavy ion collisions at medium and relativistic energies. It involves an active experimental program--which utilizes accelerators at various national facilities--as well as a theoretical component geared at the modeling of nuclear reactions. Our "tools" include state-of-the-art FourPi detector arrays, Time Projection Chambers, etc., for charged particle detection. Data analysis and theoretical modeling are carried out on computers which range from workstations to super-computers.
An important component of our program is the desire to stimulate interest in the early development of a variety of research skills by undergraduate as well as graduate students. In particular, opportunities abound for students (a) to participate in the planning and execution of experiments, (b) to participate in the design and building of detectors and their use in experiments, (c) to learn procedures and develop skills for computer simulations, and (d) to explore, analyze, reason logically, and make decisions based on the collection, visual representation, and interpretation of experimental data.