Columbia Post-Doc wins the 2024 Dissertation Award in Hadronic Physics!

April 03, 2024

Congratulations to Blair Seidlitz for winning the 2024 Dissertation Award in Hadronic Physics for developing the experimental access of high-multiplicity photo-nuclear interactions and a novel investigation of collective phenomena in this system! 

Blair Seidlitz is a member of Professors Brian Cole’s and  Bill Zajc's group and grew up in Wisconsin. He attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he obtained a B.S. in Engineering Physics and conducted research in plasma physics with Cary Forest, applying optical emission spectroscopy techniques for measurements of the electron temperature in the Plasma Couette Experiment and the Madison Plasma Dynamo Experiment.

During his graduate studies he moved on to more strongly coupled plasmas, the quark-gluon plasma, in Jamie Nagle and Dennis Perepelitsa's high energy nuclear physics program at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Here, he had access to the diverse physics program of ATLAS at the Large Hadron Collider. Blair focused on the exploration of collectivity of the particles produced in high energy collisions, specifically the first explorations of highly energetic photon-nucleus collisions, where he developed the tools and techniques needed to study such collisions in the ultra-relativistic regime provided by the LHC. This led to observations of how the hadronic components of the photon wave function could lead to collective interactions. He is now at Columbia University where he continues his work on ATLAS and is co-convener of the calorimeter calibration task force for the sPHENIX experiment, the first new heavy ion detector in more than a decade, located at Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider.