Haiyan Gao

Haiyan Gao

Henry Newson Distinguished Professor of Physics

Professor of Physics

Professor of Physics at Duke Kunshan University (Secondary)

Office Location: 
Ffsc 2313, Science Drive, Durham, NC 27708
Front Office Address: 
Box 90308, Durham, NC 27708-0308
(919) 660-2622


Prof. Gao's research focuses on understanding the structure of the nucleon in terms of quark and gluon degrees of freedom of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD), search for QCD exotics, and fundamental symmetry studies at low energy to search for new physics beyond the Standard Model of electroweak interactions. Most recently, her group's studies of the structure of the nucleon have been focusing on a precision measurement of the proton (see her group's 2019 Nature paper on this topic) and deuteron charge radii to elucidate on the proton and the deuteron charge radius puzzles, and on imaging the three-dimensional structure of the nucleon in momentum space through the extraction of transverse momentum dependent parton distribution functions (TMDs), employing polarized semi-inclusive deep inelastic scattering processes. The nucleon tomography provided by TMDs will uncover the rich QCD dynamics, and provide quantitative information about the quark orbital angular momentum contribution to the proton spin. TMDs will also provide information on fundamental quantities such as the tensor charge of the nucleon, a quantity not only important for testing lattice QCD predictions, but also important for searches of new physics beyond the Standard Model together with the next generation of nucleon electric dipole moment experiments. Her group is playing leading roles in the Solenoidal Large Intensity Device (SoLID) project at Jefferson Lab, a high profile program which will make major impact on TMD physics, proton mass puzzle through precision measurement of J/psi production near threshold, and search for new physics beyond the Standard Model using parity-violating deep inelastic scattering. Most of her work utilizes the novel experimental technique of scattering polarized electrons or photons from polarized gas targets. Her group has built a number of state-of-the-art polarized gas targets including H/D internal gas target and a high-pressure polarized 3He target for photon experiments using the High Intensity Gamma Source (HIGS) facility at the Duke Free Electron Laser Laboratory (DFELL). Her research is being carried out mostly at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (JLab) in Newport News, Virginia, and the HIGS facility at DFELL.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., California Institute of Technology 1994

  • B.S., Tsinghua University (China) 1988

Laskaris, G., et al. “Spin-dependent cross sections from the three-body photodisintegration of He 3 at incident energies of 12.8 and 14.7 MeV.” Physical Review C  Nuclear Physics, vol. 89, no. 2, Feb. 2014. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevC.89.024002. Full Text

Yan, H., et al. “A frequency determination method for digitized NMR signals.” Communications in Computational Physics, vol. 15, no. 5, Jan. 2014, pp. 1343–51. Scopus, doi:10.4208/cicp.110613.270913a. Full Text

Malace, S. P., et al. “Studies of single-photoelectron response and of performance in magnetic field of a H8500C-03 photomultiplier tube.” Journal of Instrumentation, vol. 8, no. 9, Sept. 2013. Scopus, doi:10.1088/1748-0221/8/09/P09004. Full Text

Ye, Q. J., et al. “Production of K+K- pairs in proton-proton collisions below the meson threshold.” Physical Review C  Nuclear Physics, vol. 87, no. 6, June 2013. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevC.87.065203. Full Text

Laskaris, G., et al. “First measurements of spin-dependent double-differential cross sections and the Gerasimov-Drell-Hearn Integrand from 3He(γ,n)pp at incident photon energies of 12.8 and 14.7 MeV.Physical Review Letters, vol. 110, no. 20, May 2013, p. 202501. Epmc, doi:10.1103/physrevlett.110.202501. Full Text

Wang, Y., et al. “A MRPC prototype for SOLID-TOF in JLab.” Journal of Instrumentation, vol. 8, no. 3, Mar. 2013. Scopus, doi:10.1088/1748-0221/8/03/P03003. Full Text

Wang, R., et al. “A practical method to determine the spatial resolution of GEM detector.” Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, vol. 701, Feb. 2013, pp. 54–57. Scopus, doi:10.1016/j.nima.2012.10.078. Full Text

Chu, P. H., et al. “Laboratory search for spin-dependent short-range force from axionlike particles using optically polarized He3 gas.” Physical Review D  Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology, vol. 87, no. 1, Jan. 2013. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.87.011105. Full Text

Strakovsky, I. I., et al. “Progress on neutron-target multipoles above 1 GeV.” Epj Web of Conferences, vol. 37, Dec. 2012. Scopus, doi:10.1051/epjconf/20123708005. Full Text

Fonvieille, H., et al. “Virtual Compton scattering and the generalized polarizabilities of the proton at Q2=0.92 and 1.76 GeV2.” Physical Review C  Nuclear Physics, vol. 86, no. 1, July 2012. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevC.86.015210. Full Text