The research interests of Professor John Harris are focused on understanding the behavior of nuclear, hadronic and partonic matter at high energy densities. Quantum Chromodynamics calculations on a lattice predict that a transition from normal nuclear or hadronic matter to a deconfined phase of matter consisting of freely interacting quarks and gluons, known as the quark-gluon plasma (QGP), will occur at extremely high energy densities above approximately 2 GeV/fm3. This corresponds to a temperature of 2 x 1012 Kelvin. Such energy densities are predicted to have existed a few microseconds after the Big Bang and are expected in collisions of heavy nuclei at ultrarelativistic energies. Formation and discovery of the QGP is the primary purpose of ultrarelativistic nucleus-nucleus experiments at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven Laboratory on Long Island in New York and at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland.
John Harris was involved in the original proposal to initiate a nucleus-nucleus experimental program at CERN to search for a possible QGP phase transition, and has been an active member in the planning, conceptual design, construction, data aquisition and physics of ultrarelativistic nucleus-nucleus experiments NA35 and NA49 at CERN, and the STAR (Solenoidal Tracker at RHIC) experiment at Brookhaven. He was the founding spokesperson for STAR from 1991 until 2002. He is currently involved heavily in the ALICE experiment at the LHC at CERN serving as the National Coordinator for the ALICE-USA Collaboration, Deputy Chair of the ALICE Collaboration Board and on other boards in ALICE (such as the Physics Board). Research activities focus on the use of hard scattering processes to identify the properties of the QGP utilizing heavy ions in ALICE at the LHC at CERN, the design of a comprehensive experiment for higher luminosity RHIC operation and for a possible new Electron Ion Collider.
Publication with More Than 1500 Citations
Experimental and Theoretical Challenges in the Search for the Quark-Gluon Plasma: The STAR Collaboration’s Critical Assessment, J. Adams et al, (STAR), Nuc. Phys. A757, Vol. 1-2, (2005) 102.
Publications with More Than 400 Citations from over 400 Publications
Distributions of Charged Hadrons Associated with High Transverse Momentum Particles in pp and Au+Au Collisions at √sNN = 200 GeV, J. Adams et al. (STAR), Phys. Rev. Lett. 95 (2005) 152301.
Particle Type Dependence of Azimuthal Anisotropy and Nuclear Modification of Particle Production in Au + Au Collisions at √sNN = 200 GeV, J. Adams et al. (STAR), PRL 92 (2004) 052302.
Transverse Momentum and Collision Energy Dependence of High PT Hadron Suppression in Au+Au Collisions at Ultrarelativistic Energies, J. Adams et al. (STAR), PRL 91 (2003) 172302.
Evidence from d+Au Measurements for Final-State Suppression of High PT Hadrons in Au+Au Collisions at RHIC, J. Adams et al. (STAR), PRL 91 (2003) 072304.
Disappearance of Back-to-back High PT Hadron Correlations in Central Au+Au Collisions at ÖsNN = 200 GeV, C. Adler et al. (STAR), PRL 90 (2003) 082302.
Centrality Dependence of High PT Hadron Suppression in Au+Au Collisions at ÖsNN = 130 GeV, C. Adler et al. (STAR), PRL 89 (2002) 202301.
Elliptic Flow in Au+Au Collisions at ÖsNN = 130 GeV, C. Adler et al. (STAR), PRL 86 (2001) 402.
Miscellaneous Biographical Details: Humboldt Senior Prize (Frankfurt, 1995), Fellow of American Physical Society (1996), Founding Spokesman RHIC-STAR Experiment (1991-2002), National Coordinator ALICE-USA Collaboration (2006-2012), Deputy Chair ALICE Collaboration Board (2011-present), Member Yale Science Council (2006-present, Chair 2008-present), Top 40 Distinguished Alumni (Stony Brook, 2002), Robert Hofstadter Endowed Lectures (Stanford, 2007).