Laboratory of Theoretical Physics
Dr. Khuri uses the tools of mathematics, such as quantum field theory, to advance high-energy particle physics through the identification of the ultimate subatomic building blocks of nature and the provision of a unified explanation of the forces of nature that govern the behavior of matter.
Dr. Khuri’s research is directed toward the mathematical description of elementary particle collisions, created experimentally in accelerators, and making predictions about particle behavior. Currently he is concerned with an analysis that stresses the importance of measuring the real part of the forward scattering amplitude at the Large Hadron Collider at the CERN Institute in Geneva, Switzerland. Dr. Khuri’s lab has shown how these experiments could test for the existence of a “fundamental length” in space-time that has led his lab to consider scattering theory in a system with an additional internal compact dimension of extremely small size. The scientists were able to determine the experimentally measurable signals that could verify the existence of such a new internal dimension, leading to the discovery of new singularities in coupled channel quantum mechanics.
Past results from Dr. Khuri’s lab include the discovery of a universality property for very low-energy scattering amplitudes in two dimensions; the completion of a systematic derivation of the transition temperature from the QCD Lagrangian within the analysis of color superconductivity as a possible phase of high-density QCD; and a check on the Randall-Sundrum scenario for gravity that shows that the theory is consistent with the Mercury precession test of general relativity.
In a separate project in mathematical physics, Dr. Khuri’s lab introduced a new method to study the Riemann hypothesis, which is one of the last unsolved problems in mathematics. Using inverse scattering methods, developed in physics, they found a hypothetical two-body force, the scattering data of which is by construction such that the zero energy Jost function is identical to Riemann’s ζ-function. The Riemann zeros are then related to the zero-energy-coupling constant spectrum.
Dr. Khuri’s early work was in the areas of dispersion relations, Regge pole theory and asymptotic bounds and relation. He was the first to establish the validity of dispersion relations in nonrelativistic quantum mechanics and started a rigorous study of scattering amplitudes, which led to concepts such as Regge poles and strings.
Dr. Khuri was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and received his B.A. from the American University of Beirut in 1952. He received both his M.A. and his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1955 and 1957, respectively. From 1957 to 1964 he was on the faculty of the American University of Beirut, first as an assistant professor and in 1961 as an associate professor. During that period, he spent a total of three years as a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. Dr. Khuri came to Rockefeller in 1964 as associate professor and became professor in 1968. He was a consultant to the Brookhaven National Laboratory for many years and has been a visiting scientist at CERN. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society.