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

Hasell, D. K., et al. “Spin-dependent electron scattering from polarized protons and deuterons with the BLAST experiment at MIT-bates.” Annual Review of Nuclear and Particle Science, vol. 61, Nov. 2011, pp. 409–33. Scopus, doi:10.1146/annurev-nucl-100809-131956. Full Text

Tarasov, V. E., et al. “Extracting the photoproduction cross sections off the neutron, via the γn→π-p reaction, from deuteron data with final-state interaction effects.” Physical Review C  Nuclear Physics, vol. 84, no. 3, Sept. 2011. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevC.84.035203. Full Text

Gao, H. “Hadron physics at low energies.” European Physical Journal: Special Topics, vol. 198, no. 1, Sept. 2011, pp. 3–17. Scopus, doi:10.1140/epjst/e2011-01480-5. Full Text

Qian, X., et al. “Single spin asymmetries in charged pion production from semi-inclusive deep inelastic scattering on a transversely polarized 3He Target at Q2 = 1.4-2.7 GeV2.Physical Review Letters, vol. 107, no. 7, Aug. 2011, p. 072003. Epmc, doi:10.1103/physrevlett.107.072003. Full Text

Nuruzzaman, H. Gao with X. Qian et, et al. “Nuclear transparency and effective kaon-nucleon cross section from the A(e,e′K+) reaction.” Physical Review C  Nuclear Physics, vol. 84, no. 1, July 2011. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevC.84.015210. Full Text

Zheng, W., et al. “Pressure dependence of wall relaxation in polarized He3 gaseous cells.” Physical Review a  Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics, vol. 83, no. 6, June 2011. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.83.061401. Full Text

Qian, X., et al. “Near-threshold photoproduction of Φ mesons from deuterium.” Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High Energy Physics, vol. 696, no. 4, Feb. 2011, pp. 338–42. Scopus, doi:10.1016/j.physletb.2010.12.065. Full Text

Gao, H., et al. “Transverse spin structure of the nucleon through target single-spin asymmetry in semi-inclusive deep-inelastic (e, e′π±) reaction at Jefferson lab.” European Physical Journal Plus, vol. 126, no. 1, Jan. 2011, pp. 1–16. Scopus, doi:10.1140/epjp/i2011-11002-4. Full Text

Anselmino, M., et al. “Transverse-momentum-dependent parton distribution/fragmentation functions at an electron-ion collider.” European Physical Journal A, vol. 47, no. 3, Jan. 2011, pp. 1–21. Scopus, doi:10.1140/epja/i2011-11035-2. Full Text

Gao, H., et al. “Future (transverse) spin physics at Jefferson Lab.” Journal of Physics: Conference Series, vol. 295, no. 1, Jan. 2011. Scopus, doi:10.1088/1742-6596/295/1/012019. Full Text