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About the RIKEN BNL Research Center

Pursuing new studies in physics for the 21st century

At the RIKEN BNL Research Center (RBRC) our research focus is on spin physics, Lattice Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) computational physics and quark gluon plasma (QGP) physics. The goal is to establish a new field of physics for the 21st century by closely coordinating our theoretical and experimental research efforts.

As the history of the 20th century indicates, scientific progress has always been made by younger researchers. Albert Einstein was in his 20's when he published his special theory of relativity and began his quest for the general theory of relativity. Quantum mechanics was created by young scientists of the next generation including Werner Heisenberg, Paul Dirac, Enrico Fermi, and Yoshio Nishina. During the 1930s and 1940s, young Hideki Yukawa and Shinichiro Tomonaga were among those who solved major problems of nuclear physics and quantum electrodynamics.

At any given time, the older generation is, of course, playing a significant role. However, more challenging and more important problems have always been solved by younger researchers. Such talent does not appear suddenly. We see concentration of such talents at a few selective centers such as the Niels Bohr Institute, RIKEN, the Advanced Study at Princeton, and Columbia University.

At RBRC, we provide a special environment dedicated to talented young scientists from around the world so that they can concentrate their energy on that research. Our goal is to become a facility where a new field of physics for the 21st century will be developed.


Message from the Director

In 2017 the RIKEN BNL Research Center (RBRC) celebrates its 20th anniversary since its inauguration in 1997. This is also the year of the 100th anniversary of RIKEN.  RBRC begins this new era with plans for construction of a major detector upgrade, sPHENIX. Like the long lived bird of Greek mythology, revived from the ashes, the sPHENIX experiment will continue the important mission of RHIC.  RBRC will continue to play a major role in the sPHENIX era, attracting outstanding theoretical and experimental physicists and they are the basis of RBRC's vibrancy, relevance, and productivity. RBRC personnel are making leading contributions to the discovery, interpretation and simulation of new phenomena at RHIC. The continued productivity is due to improvements

For the future, RBRC is working on aspects of eRHIC and is exploring with RIKEN and BNL research opportunities in related fields—in particular BNL’s cosmology activities on LSST.

In this memorial year I have assumed the position of Director of RBRC, effective April 1, 2017, following the great history of the former RBRC directors, Tsung-Dao Lee, Nicholas Samios and Samuel Aronson. I am concurrently appointed as the Director of RIKEN Nishina Center, but will be scheduled here at Brookhaven National Laboratory site one week per month.

photo of Hideto En'yo

Director Hideto En'yo


Message from the Deputy Director

Research at the RIKEN BNL Research Center includes vigorous activities in both experimental and theoretical physics.

Experimental research includes studies at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider: the collisions of heavy ions at ultrarelativistic energies, spin physics in proton-proton collisions, and eventually into electron nucleus collisions at a proposed eRHIC facility.

There is a large and vigorous effort in Lattice Gauge Theory. This includes the study of hadronic physics, such as the computation of weak matrix elements, and computing the thermodynamic behavior of Quantum Chromodynamics.

There is also a strong interest in the theory of High Energy Nuclear Physics, including: saturation and the Color Glass Condensate; the phenomenology of heavy ion collisions; the nature of the Quark Gluon Plasma near the transition temperature (the “semi” QGP); cold dense quark matter (“quarkyonic”); and applications of the AdS/CFT correspondence

photo of Robert Pisarski

Deputy Director Robert Pisarski


Past RBRC Directors

photo of Sam Aronson

Samuel Aronson
Sr. Scientist Emeritus

photo of Nicholas Samios

Nicholas Samios
Director Emeritus

photo of TD Lee

T.D. Lee
Director Emeritus, 1957 Nobel Laureate