Alex Brown

Professor of Physics


Education and training

  • BA, Physics, Ohio State University, 1970
  • MS, Physics, SUNY Stony Brook, 1972
  • PhD, Physics, SUNY Stony Brook, 1974


My research in theoretical nuclear physics is motivated by broad questions in science: What are the fundamental particles of matter? What are the fundamental forces and their symmetries that govern their interactions? How were the elements formed during the evolution of the Universe? How do the simplicities observed in many-body systems emerge from their underlying microscopic properties? I pursue the development of new analytical and computational tools for the description of nuclear structure, especially for nuclei far from stability. The basic theoretical tools include the configuration-interaction and energy-density functional methods. I work with collaborators to developed software for desktop as well as high-performance computing. Specific topics of interest include: the structure of light nuclei and nuclei near the driplines, di-proton decay, proton and neutron densities, double beta decay, isospin non-conservation, level densities, quantum chaos, nuclear equations of state for neutron stars, and the rapid-proton capture process in astrophysics.


I was born in Ohio and attended Ohio State University as an undergraduate. I attended the University of New York at Stony Brook for my PhD. I have collaborated on over 800 papers including over 100 in Physical Review Letters. My collaborations include over 2,000 researchers. I visited GSI and the University of Tuebingen for my Humboldt Research Award. I also spent parts of my sabbaticals at the University of Stellenbosch, the University of Oxford, the University of Surrey, the University of Oslo, the University of Auckland, the Australian National University, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. All of these extended my research activities which in turn have enriched my local collaborations.

How students can contribute as part of my research team

I am excited about the new physics that will be carried out at FRIB. The collaboration between theory and experiment will require continued advances in the computational techniques I have developed, as well as new ideas about how they can be applied. Students will learn the subtle connections between theory and experiment, the techniques of nuclear many-body quantum theory, and predict the possible outcomes of new experiments.

Scientific publications