Thomas C. Mehen, Associate Professor  

Thomas C. Mehen

Office Location: 204C Physics Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone: (919) 660-2555
Email Address: mehen@phy.duke.edu
Web Page: http://www.phy.duke.edu/~mehen

Specialties:
Theoretical particle physics and string theory
Theoretical nuclear physics

Education:
Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1998
Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1997
M.A., Johns Hopkins University, 1997
B.S., University of Virginia, 1992

Research Categories: Theoretical Nuclear and Particle Physics

Research Description: Prof. Thomas Mehen works primarily on Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) and the application of effective field theory to problems in hadronic physics. Effective field theories exploit the symmetries of hadrons to make model independent predictions when the dynamics of these hadrons are too hard to solve explicitly. For example, the properties of a hadron containing a very heavy quark are insensitive to the orientation of the heavy quark spin. Prof. Mehen has used this heavy quark spin symmetry to make predictions for the production and decay of heavy mesons and quarkonia at collider experiments. Another example is the chiral symmetry of QCD which is a consequence of the lightness of the up and down quarks. The implications of this symmetry for the force between nucleons is a subject of Prof. Mehen's research. Prof. Mehen has also worked on effective field theory for nonrelativistic particles whose short range interactions are characterized by a large scattering length. This theory has been successfully applied to low energy two- and three-body nuclear processes. Some of Prof. Mehen's work is interdisciplinary. For example, techniques developed for nuclear physics have been used to calculate three-body corrections to the energy density of a Bose-Einstein condensate whose atoms have large scattering lengths. Prof. Mehen has also worked on novel field theories which arise from unusual limits of string theory. Examples include noncommutative field theories and theories of tachyonic modes on non-BPS branes.

Teaching (Spring 2016):

  • Physics 781.01, Quantum field theory Synopsis
    Physics 299, TuTh 11:45 AM-01:00 PM

Recent Publications   (More Publications)   (search)

  1. T Mehen, Hadronic loops versus factorization in effective field theory calculations of, Physical Review D, vol. 92 no. 3 (August, 2015) [doi] .
  2. M Baumgart, AK Leibovich, T Mehen and IZ Rothstein, Probing quarkonium production mechanisms with jet substructure, Journal of High Energy Physics, vol. 2014 no. 11 (November, 2014) [2295], [doi] .
  3. C Kim, A Idilbi, T Mehen and YW Yoon, Production of stoponium at the LHC, Physical Review D, vol. 89 no. 7 (April, 2014) [1284], [doi] .
  4. T Mehen and D-L Yang, On the Role of Charmed Meson Loops in Charmonium Decays, Phys.Rev. D85:014002 (2012) [3884] .
  5. S Fleming and T Mehen, The decay of the X(3872) into &chicJ and the Operator Product Expansion in XEFT, Phys.Rev. D85:014016 (2012) [0265] .

Highlight:
Prof. Thomas Mehen works primarily on Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) and the application of effective field theory to problems in hadronic physics. Effective field theories exploit the symmetries of hadrons to make model independent predictions when the dynamics of these hadrons are too hard to solve explicitly. For example, the properties of a hadron containing a very heavy quark are insensitive to the orientation of the heavy quark spin. Prof. Mehen has used this heavy quark spin symmetry to make predictions for the production and decay of heavy mesons and quarkonia at collider experiments. Another example is the chiral symmetry of QCD which is a consequence of the lightness of the up and down quarks. The implications of this symmetry for the force between nucleons is a subject of Prof. Mehen's research. Prof. Mehen has also worked on effective field theory for nonrelativistic particles whose short range interactions are characterized by a large scattering length. This theory has been successfully applied to low energy two- and three-body nuclear processes. Some of Prof. Mehen's work is interdisciplinary. For example, techniques developed for nuclear physics have been used to calculate three-body corrections to the energy density of a Bose-Einstein condensate whose atoms have large scattering lengths. Prof. Mehen has also worked on novel field theories which arise from unusual limits of string theory. Examples include noncommutative field theories and theories of tachyonic modes on non-BPS branes.

Current Ph.D. Students   (Former Students)

  • Reggie Bain  
  • Yiannis Makris  
  • Dilun Yang  
  • Jie Hu  
Postdocs Mentored

  • Jared Vanasse (2012- present)  
  • Chul Kim (September 2007 -December 2009)  
  • Ahmad Idilbi (September, 2006 - February, 2010)  
  • Brian Tiburzi (September, 2004 - August, 2006)  
  • Carlos Schat (2002/09-2004/09)