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HandWiki. Barbara Jacak. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 23 April 2024).
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Barbara Jacak
quark gluon plasma heavy ion collisions collider

1. Introduction

Barbara Jacak is a nuclear physicist who uses heavy ion collisions for fundamental studies of hot, dense nuclear matter. She is Director of the Nuclear Science Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and a professor of Physics at UC Berkeley.[1] Before going to Berkeley, she was a member of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Stony Brook University, where she held the rank of Distinguished Professor. She is a leading member of the collaboration that built and operates the PHENIX detector, one of the large detectors currently operating at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory, and was involved in the discovery of the quark gluon plasma and its strongly coupled, liquid-like behavior. Throughout her career she has served on many advisory committees and boards including the National Research Council Committee on Nuclear Physics, and the Physical Review C Editorial Board.[2]

2. Physics Career

Jacak started her career at Michigan State University, where she completed her Ph.D. in Chemical Physics in 1984 working at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL).[3] She began working at Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1984 as a J.R. Oppenheimer Fellow. She became a laboratory staff member in 1987, continuing until 1996. During her time at Los Alamos, she also taught as an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of New Mexico, from 1994–1996.[2] In 1997 she joined Stony Brook University to lead the Relativistic Heavy Ion Group, affiliated with the PHENIX experiment.[2] In 2008, she was appointed to the rank of Distinguished Professor.[3][4]

Since January, 2015, Jacak has been the Director of the Nuclear Science Division at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories. She also holds joint appointments as Faculty Senior Scientist at Berkeley Lab and as Professor of Physics at UC Berkeley.[5]

2.1. PHENIX Collaboration

Jacak has been a member of the PHENIX Collaboration since the detector was first proposed.[6] She served on the Detector Council from 1992-1994 and the Executive Council from 1994-2006.[2] In December 2006 she was elected as spokesperson of PHENIX.[4] She served as spokesperson for two consecutive terms, stepping down at the end of 2012. Under her leadership as spokesperson, PHENIX published over 60 papers in peer-reviewed journals and graduated over 90 Ph.D.'s from institutions around the world.[7][8] She oversaw the successful installation of three major detector upgrades, as well as several smaller upgrades.[9]

2.2. ALICE Collaboration

Prof. Jacak has been a member of the ALICE Collaboration since March 2015. She is the team leader of the UC Berkeley group.[10]

3. Honors

  • Elected to be a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2009[11]
  • Named a SUNY Stony Brook Distinguished Professor in 2008[4]
  • Named a Fellow of the American Physics Society in 1997[12]
  • J. R. Oppenheimer Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1984 to 1987[2]

4. Selected Publications

  • Barbara V. Jacak and Berndt Muller, "The exploration of hot nuclear matter", Science 337, 310-314 (2012).
  • H. Kruse, B.V. Jacak, H. Stoecker. "Microscopic theory of pion production and sidewards flow in heavy ion collisions", Phys. Rev. Lett. 54, 289-292 (1985).
  • K.G.R. Doss et al., "Fragment flow in nuclear collisions", Phys. Rev. Lett. 59, 2720 (1987).
  • T. Akesson et al. (The HELIOS Collaboration), "Low mass lepton-pair production in p-Be collisions at 450-GeV/c", Z. Phys. C 68,47-64 (1995).
  • I. Bearden et al. (NA44 Collaboration), "Collective expansion in high-energy heavy ion collisions", Phys. Rev. Lett. 78, 2080-2083 (1997).
  • U. Heinz and B. Jacak. "Two-particle correlations in relativistic heavy ion collisions", Annu. Rev. Nucl. Part. Sci. 49, 529-579 (1999).
  • K. Adcox et al. (PHENIX Collaboration), "Suppression of hadrons with large transverse momentum in central Au+Au collisions at √SNN = 130 GeV", Phys. Rev. Lett. 88, 022301 (2002).
  • S.S. Adler et al. (PHENIX Collaboration), "Absence of suppression in particle production at large transverse momentum in √SNN = 200 GeV d+Au collisions", Phys. Rev. Lett. 91,072303 (2003).
  • S.S. Adler et al. (PHENIX Collaboration), "Jet structure of baryon excess in Au+Au collisions at √SNN = 200 GeV", Phys. Rev. C 71, 051902(R) (2005).
  • K. Adcox et al. (PHENIX Collaboration), "Formation of dense partonic matter in relativistic nucleus-nucleus collisions at RHIC: Experimental evaluation by the PHENIX collaboration. Status of our program to create, detect and characterize quark-gluon plasma" Nucl. Phys. A 757, 184-283 (2005).
  • S.S. Adler et al. (PHENIX Collaboration), "Dense-Medium Modifications to Jet-Induced Hadron Pair Distributions in Au+Au Collisions at √SNN = 200 GeV", Phys. Rev. Lett.97, 052301 (2006).
  • A. Adare et al. (PHENIX Collaboration), "System Size and Energy Dependence of Jet-Induced Hadron Pair Correlation Shapes in Relativistic Nuclear Collisions", Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 232302 (2007).
  • A. Adare et al. (PHENIX Collaboration). "Dihadron azimuthal correlations in Au+Au collisions at sqrt(s_NN)=200 GeV", Phys. Rev. C 78, 014901 (2008).
Further Reading
In this part, we encourage you to list the link of papers wrote by the character, or published reviews/articles about his/her academic contributions. Edit


  1. "ARCS Foundation>>ARCS Alumni Hall of Fame". ARCS. Retrieved January 12, 2016. 
  2. "APS bio". 2001. 
  3. "ACAP bio". 
  4. "SBU press release". 2008. 
  5. "Barbara Jacak: Professor of Physics". UC Berkeley Physics Department. Retrieved January 12, 2016. 
  6. "Science Watch Interview". 2010. 
  7. "INSPIRE-HEP list". 2007–2012. 
  8. "PHENIX Theses table". 
  9. "PHENIX Beam Use Proposals". 2006–2012. 
  10. "News from the ALICE Collaboration Board". 2017. 
  11. "SBU press release". 2009. 
  12. "APS Fellow Archive 1990-present". 
Name: Barbara Jacak
Born: Nov 1984
California, U.S.
Title: Nuclear physicist
Affiliations: Los Alamos National Laboratory Stony Brook University
Honors: J.R. Oppenheimer Fellow Fellow of the American Physics Society National Academy of Sciences
Subjects: Physics, Nuclear
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Update Date: 06 Dec 2022