Theory Senior Staff
|Michael R. Pennington
Associate Director for Theoretical & Computational Physics
Theory Center Director, Jefferson Lab
Born Essex, UK; B.Sc. (summa cum laude) in Mathematical Physics, University of Edinburgh; Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics, University of London. Postdoctoral Researcher at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (now LBNL) 1971-73, at Rutherford High Energy Laboratory (now Rutherford Appleton Laboratory) 1973-75, at CERN 1976-78, and Durham University, UK 1978-81. Faculty of Durham University 1981-2010, latterly Professor of Mathematical Sciences & Physics, and Dean for Educational Outreach. Since September 2010 I have been at Jefferson Lab. I am also a Governor's Distinguished CEBAF Professor at the College of William & Mary.
My research is in strong interaction physics. The main theme is strong coupling QCD. The aim is to learn how quark and gluon confinement determines the properties and dynamics of hadrons in a quantitative way following two directions of attack. One is to study QCD in the continuum using the Schwinger-Dyson equations to learn about the behavior of quarks and gluons over distance scales that stretch from the short distance, where perturbation theory applies, to those of the size of a proton, where the coupling is strong and confinement occurs. These quark and gluon functions are then the input into bound state equations that determine the spectrum and structure of hadrons. A complementary approach is the detailed analysis of experimental data to learn about the spectrum and dynamics of hadrons. My experience has been mainly in the meson sector, where I have worked on applying basic S-matrix tools of crossing, analyticity and unitarity to the partial wave analysis of data from CERN, Fermilab, SLAC, and KEK, collaborating with the FOCUS, BaBar and Belle experimental groups. My focus is now on the application of such methods to JLab data. I have supervised more than 20 Ph.D. students, and am the author of 200 research papers.