Helen’s research is concentrated on understanding the behavior of nuclear matter under extremes of temperature and density. Theoretical calculations indicate that a Quark Gluon Plasma (QGP), a deconfined state of quarks and gluons, exists when energy densities of more than 6 times nuclear matter are reached. Such extreme conditions can be created in the laboratory when ultra-relativistic heavy ions are collided. Helen is therefore a collaborator on the STAR experiment based at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven Laboratory on Long Island in New York and on the ALICE experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. The formation of a QGP has been confirmed by the RHIC collaborations. Helen is now focused on measuring the high momentum particles produced in the collisions, and how they interact with the QGP. The results of these studies will teach us more about the properties of this new state of matter.
Being Human in STEM
2012 — APS CSWP Woman Physicist of the Month (Jan)
2008 — Elected Fellow of the Institute of Physics, UK
2005 — “Enseignant Invite” (Invited Professor) Fellowship, Strasbourg University, France
2003 — Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Advanced Research Fellowship, UK