Haiyan Gao


Henry Newson Professor of Physics in Trinity College

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 of her work utilizes the novel experimental technique of scattering polarized electrons or photons from polarized gas targets. Over the years, her group 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). Currently, her group and collaborators are focusing on a novel new experiment on a precise determination of the proton charge radius at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (JLab) in Newport News, VA, and the SoLID project aiming at a three-dimensional imaging of the internal structure of proton and neutron in momentum space, i.e. nucleon tomography, at JLab.  Her research is being carried out at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (JLab),and the HIGS facility at DFELL.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Henry Newson Professor of Physics in Trinity College
  • Professor of Physics
  • Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs At DKU

Contact Information:


  • Ph.D. California Institute of Technology, 1994
  • B.S. Tsinghua University (China), 1988

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions:

  • Henry Newson Professor of Physics. Duke. 2012
  • Changjiang Chair Professorship, Tsinghua University. Ministry of Education, China. 2009
  • Fellow. American Physical Society. 2007

Courses Taught:

  • PHYSICS 131K: Frontiers of 21st Century Physics
  • PHYSICS 493: Research Independent Study
  • PHYSICS 995: Graduate Training Internship

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