Brookhaven's Physics Department has a staff of 275 and an annual budget of about $80 million for nuclear and particle physics research, primarily funded by DOE. The department's research focuses on investigating the structure and behavior of subatomic particles.
Thomas Ludlam has played a major role in the development of Brookhaven's largest accelerator, the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), from its design stage starting in the early 1980s to its detectors and research programs. In 2005, RHIC physicists discovered a "perfect" liquid, a new state of matter made from quarks and gluons that they believe existed one-millionth of a second after the Big Bang.
Ludlam earned a B.S. in physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1963, and a Ph.D. in physics from Yale University in 1969. He began his career as a physics instructor at Yale, eventually becoming an associate professor of physics.
In 1978, he joined Brookhaven as an associate physicist and rose through the ranks to become a senior physicist in 1994. From 1990 to 1999 he served as Associate Project Head for the RHIC Project. In 2004, he became Associate Chair of Nuclear Physics in the Physics Department.
Ludlam has served on several national and international advisory panels, including the DOE/National Science Foundation Nuclear Science Advisory Committee, from 1991-1994. He has been the organizer and convener of numerous conferences, workshops, and scientific and technical reviews related to national accelerator and detector planning.