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Pioneering Theoretical Scientist at WIU April 12-13

April 6, 2007

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MACOMB, IL -- Larry McLerran, internationally known for his contributions to theoretical particle physics, will be a visiting lecturer at Western Illinois University Thursday and Friday, April 12-13.

McLerran has been the theory group leader at the RIKEN BNL Research Center at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Long Island, NY, since 2003. Previously he was senior scientist and group leader of the nuclear theory group (1999-2004) at BNL, which is one of 10 national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

"Professor McLerran was the first director (1989-1992) of the now-renowned William I. Fine Theoretical Physics Institute (FTPI) at the University of Minnesota," said Vivian Incera, chair of Western's physics department, which is sponsoring McLerran's visit. "He was instrumental in shaping and staffing that institute and turning it into a major international center of research in theoretical physics."

Prior to FTPI, McLerran was a group leader at Fermi National Acceleratory Laboratory in south suburban Chicago.

He is one of the pioneers who developed the Glasma theory, which is the theoretical framework that attempts to explain the properties of the strongly interacting matter produced in heavy ion collision experiments at BNL, Incera said.

On Friday (April 13), McLerran will present a 4 p.m. lecture on "Color Glass Condensate and Glasma" in Currens Hall 205, explaining the basic ideas of the Glasma theory for a general audience. A pre-lecture reception will begin at 3:30 p.m. in Currens Hall 210. The reception and lecture are open free to the public.

"It is a great honor and a great opportunity for the community to have a scientist of this caliber visiting and delivering a lecture," Incera said. "This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about a fascinating topic directly from one of its founders."

McLerran will also have informal discussions about research topics with faculty and students, and he will give a more technical seminar, titled "Theoretical Aspects of Color Glass Condensate and Glasma" for physics professors and students at 2 p.m. Thursday (April 12) in Currens Hall 205.

For more information, contact Incera at 309/298-1596.

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