Rocco Schiavilla

Interim Theory Group leader Rocco Schiavilla was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2002

JLab's Theory Group leader is one of two newly elected American Physical Society Fellows from Jefferson Lab

One member of Jefferson Lab's Physics Division and two JLab users were elected Fellows of the American Physical Society in 2002.

Rocco Schiavilla, JLab's Interim Theory Group Leader and a professor of physics at Old Dominion University joins the ranks of American Physical Society (APS) Fellows for his work "advancing the theory of nuclei as systems of nucleons bound together by two- and three-body forces, and particularly for studies of their electroweak interactions."

Schiavilla has been a member of JLab's staff since September 1993. However, he first came to the Lab in 1988 and spent approximately two years here as the Theory Group's first post-doctoral fellow. He focused on the study of the electromagnetic form factors of few-body nuclei. Before returning to JLab as an employee in '93 he was the Enrico Fermi Scholar at Argonne National Lab, and was a staff scientist at INFN (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare) in Lecce, Italy.

As the Interim Theory Group Leader he interfaces with colleagues, Physics Division leadership and individual researchers. He coordinates activities and acts as the group's spokesperson. Beyond that, he explains, "The group operates in an academic environment, and most significant decisions are made by the group as a whole in a collegial manner."

Concerning the announcement of his APS Fellowship, Schiavilla comments, "It is a great pleasure to receive this honor and to be recognized by the APS for my work."

Then honing in on the science, he continues, "in the last few years a picture of nuclei has emerged, in which they are viewed as systems of protons and neutrons interacting amongst themselves via many-body potentials, and with external electro-weak probes via one- and many-body currents. This deceptively simple picture has been, so far, very successful in explaining quantitatively nuclear properties over a wide range of energies, from the few-thousand electron volt (keV) regime of astrophysical relevance to the million-electron volt (MeV) regime of nuclear spectra to the hundreds of MeV measured in nuclear response experiments (relevant to the research being done at JLab). My work in this area has dealt and continues to deal with the development and application of this picture and methods for its practical implementation, and with the exploration of its limits.

In fact, one of the fascinating, unresolved questions is: how does this description of nuclei arise from the underlying quark and gluon degrees of freedom, the basic building blocks of nuclear matter? This is one of the fundamental questions JLab is attempting to answer.

JLab users joining Schiavilla in earning the distinction of being elected APS Fellows, through the APS Nuclear Physics Division, include Charles Perdrisat from the College of William & Mary; and Douglas H. Beck from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Perdrisat was elected for his "leadership of studies of the electromagnetic structure of the proton through polarization transfer, which have shown large differences between the distributions of charge and magnetization; and Beck "for pioneering work in the use of parity-violating electron scattering to elucidate the quark structure of the nucleon."