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

Chen, W., et al. “Amplitude analysis of γn→π-p data above 1 GeV.” Physical Review C  Nuclear Physics, vol. 86, no. 1, July 2012. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevC.86.015206. Full Text

Gao, H. “The radial structure of the proton and its constituents.” Aip Conference Proceedings, vol. 1441, May 2012, pp. 21–28. Scopus, doi:10.1063/1.3700476. Full Text

Ye, Q. J., et al. “Production of K+K- pairs in proton-proton collisions at 2.83 GeV.” Physical Review C  Nuclear Physics, vol. 85, no. 3, Mar. 2012. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevC.85.035211. Full Text

Zheng, W., et al. “Search for spin-dependent short-range force between nucleons using optically polarized He3 gas.” Physical Review D  Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology, vol. 85, no. 3, Feb. 2012. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.85.031505. Full Text

Chen, W., et al. “Amplitude analysis of $\gamma n \rightarrow \pi^{-} p$ data above 1 GeV.” Phys. Rev. C, vol. 86, 2012.

Zheng, W., et al. “Search for Spin-Dependent Short-Range Force Using Optically Polarized 3He Gas.” Phys. Rev. D (R), vol. 85, no. 031505, 2012.

Zhang, C., et al. “Precise measurement of deuteron tensor analyzing powers with BLAST.Physical Review Letters, vol. 107, no. 25, Dec. 2011, p. 252501. Epmc, doi:10.1103/physrevlett.107.252501. Full Text

Zheng, W., et al. “General solution to gradient-induced transverse and longitudinal relaxation of spins undergoing restricted diffusion.” Physical Review a  Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics, vol. 84, no. 5, Nov. 2011. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.84.053411. Full Text

Strakovsky, I. I., et al. “Properties of the resonance Λ(1520) as seen in the forward electroproduction at JLab hall A.” Aip Conference Proceedings, vol. 1374, Nov. 2011, pp. 181–84. Scopus, doi:10.1063/1.3647120. Full Text