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19 May 1950 |
|Institutions||University of Arizona|
|Alma mater||Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main|
|Doctoral advisor||Walter Greiner|
|Known for||Deconfinement of quarks (QGP) in relativistic heavy ion collisions;Strangeness as signature of quark-gluon plasma|
Johann Rafelski (born 19 May 1950) is a German-American theoretical physicist and author. He is Professor of Physics at The University of Arizona in Tucson, guest scientist at CERN (Geneva), and has been LMU-Excellent Guest Professor at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in Munich, Germany.
Rafelski’s current research interests center around investigation of the vacuum structure of QCD and QED in the presence of strong fields; study of the QCD vacuum structure and deconfinement with strange particle production in deconfined quark–gluon plasma formed in relativistic heavy ion collisions; the formation of matter out of quark-gluon plasma in the hadronization process, also in the early Universe; the ascent of ultrashort laser light pulses as a new tool in this domain of physics. He has also contributed to the physics of table top Muon-catalyzed fusion, antimatter formation and annihilation, and artificial intelligence.
Rafelski studied physics at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, where he received his Ph.D. in the spring of 1973 working with Walter Greiner on Strong Fields, QED Vacuum and Positron Production. In 1973 he began a series of postdoctoral fellowships: first at the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) with Abraham Klein, then at the Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago where he worked with John W. Clark of Washington University in St. Louis and Michael Danos of National Bureau of Standards (now National Institute of Standards and Technology). In spring 1977 Rafelski moved for a few months to work at the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Germany, then continued on to a fellowship at CERN, where he worked with Rolf Hagedorn and John S. Bell; Rafelski remains associated with CERN to this day. In the fall of 1979 Rafelski was appointed tenured associate professor at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University where he taught for 4 years, while collaborating closely with Hagedorn and with Berndt Muller (today Duke University) and one of his first students, Gerhard Soff (Dresden University of Technology, deceased). Rafelski then accepted the chair of Theoretical Physics at the University of Cape Town (South Africa) where he created a Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics Institute before moving to The University of Arizona in the fall of 1987. During these years he was also a guest scientist at NIST in Washington, D.C. His interests in Muon-catalyzed fusion and other table-top fusion methods led him to a collaboration led by Steven E. Jones working at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The start-up of experimental work on Quark-Gluon Plasma has led to another enduring collaboration with the University of Paris 7-Jussieu involving Jean Letessier.
During the past 30 years Rafelski's primary research objective has been the understanding of the vacuum, the Lorentz Invariant Aether. He contributed to the development of the heavy ion research program to study the deconfinement of quarks and gluons in hot QCD as result of change in vacuum structure.
Rafelski was born in Krakow, Poland, on May 19, 1950 as a second child to Holocaust survivors Myriam Jutrzenka (Morgenstern) and Itzac Pufeles, of Polish, German and Austrian descent. The family escaped Communist Poland in 1964 and settled in Frankfurt, Germany. In 1973 Rafelski married Helga Betz; their union produced two children. Dr. Helga Rafelski died of cancer in 2000. In 2003 Rafelski married Victoria Grossack.
Rafelski has published over 350 research papers and has many other written contributions. Here is a selection:
- with Lewis P. Fulcher and Walter Greiner, Superheavy elements and an upper limit to the electric field strength, Phys. Rev. Lett. 27, pp 958–961 (1971) http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.27.958
- with Berndt Müller and Walter Greiner, The Charged Vacuum in overcritical fields, Nucl. Phys. B68 p585-604 (1974) http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0550-3213(74)90333-2
- with Abraham Klein and Lewis P. Fulcher, Fermions and Bosons interaction with arbitrarily strong external fields, Physics Reports 38, pp 227–361 (1978). (research monograph) http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0370-1573(78)90116-3
- with Abraham Klein and Louis P. Fulcher, The Decay of the Vacuum, Scientific American, 241, (1979). (Issue no. 6 pp 150–159)
- Formation and Observables of the Quark-Gluon Plasma, Physics Reports v88, pp331–346 (1982) http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0370-1573(82)90083-7 (note: this opens the entire volume, pp321–413 the individual articles are not accessible separately)
- with Michael Danos: Perspectives in high energy nuclear collisions, (research monograph), published by NBS, Washington DC and by GSI, Darmstadt 1983. Available from NTIS, Department of Commerce, http://www.ntis.gov/search/product.aspx?ABBR=PB83223982
- with Walter Greiner: Spezielle Relativitätstheorie (Special Theory of Relativity) available at Amazon.de http://www.amazon.de/Theoretische-Physik-Erg-Bde-Spezielle-Relativit%C3%A4tstheorie/dp/381711205X (Deutsch, Thun 1984, and later editions), ISBN 3-87144-711-0.
- with Walter Greiner und Berndt Müller: Quantum electrodynamics of strong fields. (Springer, Berlin 1985), ISBN 3-540-13404-2.
- with Berndt Müller: Die Struktur des Vakuums. Ein Dialog über das Nichts. (Deutsch, Thun 1985), ISBN 3-87144-888-5. English translation: The Structure of the Vacuum: A Conversation about Nothing. Harri Deutsch Publishers, 1985, ISBN 3-87144-889-3 http://www.physics.arizona.edu/~rafelski/Books/StructVacuumE.pdf
- with John W. Clark and J.V. Winston, Brain without mind: Computer simulation of neural networks with modifiable neuronal interactions Physics Reports v123, pp 215–273 (1985).(research monograph) http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0370-1573(85)90038-9
- with Steven E. Jones, Cold nuclear fusion, Scientific American, 257, (1987). (Issue no.7 pp84–89)
- with Peter Koch and Berndt Müller: Strangeness in Relativistic Heavy Ion Collisions, Physics Reports v142, pp167–262 (1986) (research monograph) http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0370-1573(86)90096-7
- with Steven Jones, Hendrik Monkhorst (editors and authors): Muon Catalyzed Fusion, Vol. 181 (1989). ISBN 0-88318-381-1 http://proceedings.aip.org/proceedings/confproceed/181.jsp
- with Hans Gutbrod (editors and authors): Particle Production in highly excited matter. Plenum Press, NATO Science Series: B:, Vol. 303, 1993. ISBN 978-0-306-44413-5
- Strangeness in hadronic matter (editor and author) American Institute of Physics Conference Proceedings, Vol. 340 (1995) ISBN 978-1-56396-489-3 http://proceedings.aip.org/proceedings/confproceed/340.jsp
- with Jean Letessier, Hans Gutbrod (editors and authors): Hot hadronic matter: theory and experiment, in honor of R. Hagedorn 75th birthday. Plenum Press, NATO Science Series: B:, Vol. 346 1995. ISBN 978-0-306-45008-2
- with Emanuele Quercigh, A strange quark plasma, Physics World v13, p37 ( Oct. 1, 2000) http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/print/443
- with Hans-Th. Elze, E. Ferreira, T. Kodama, R.L. Thews (editors and authors.), New States of Matter in Hadronic Interactions AIP Conference Proceedings Vol. 631 (2002) ISBN 978-0-7354-0086-3 Online edition at: http://proceedings.aip.org/dbt/dbt.jsp?KEY=APCPCS&Volume=631&Issue=1
- with Jean Letessier: Hadrons and Quark-Gluon Plasmas. Cambridge University Press 2002, Available to read at: at http://site.ebrary.com/pub/cambridgepress/docDetail.action?isbn=0521385369
- with Torleif Ericson: The tale of the Hagedorn temperature, CERN Courier, September 4, 2003 http://cerncourier.com/cws/article/cern/28919
- with J. Kapusta, B. Müller (editors and authors.): Quark-Gluon Plasma. Theoretical Foundations. Elsevier 2003. http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/bookdescription.cws_home/672804/description#description
- with G. Mourou and T. Tajima The light-pulse horizon, CERN Courier, February 23, 2009 http://cerncourier.com/cws/article/cern/37860
- Johann Rafelski's website
- SPIRES lising of Johann Rafelski's publication (nuclear and particle physics)