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Charles Nelson

Charles Nelson

Office: S2-408
Phone: 607-777-4317



Dr. Nelson received his PhD from the University of Maryland in January 1969. He joined the Binghamton University Physics Department in 1973.

Nelson's academic interests include theoretical high-energy physics, quantum field theory, particle astrophysics/cosmology and mathematical physics.


I am a professor of physics at Binghamton University (SUNY at Binghamton). In 1965, I received a BS degree in Engineering Physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder; in January 1969, a PhD degree in Theoretical Elementary Particle Physics from the University of Maryland at College Park and after three postdoctoral positions came to Binghamton in 1973 as assistant professor. In 1979-80, a sabbatical year was split between Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Chicago and the Yukawa Institute for Fundamental Physics in Kyoto, Japan. I am the author, or co-author, of over 100 publications in elementary-particle-physics/quantum-field-theory in international, refereed scientific journals. From 1983-2004, I was supported by research grants from the U.S. Department of Energy, and from 1978-1982, by the National Science Foundation. I was the principal investigator on these grants. In 2000, I was awarded the Binghamton University Award for Excellence in Research, in part due to my development of spin-correlation methods which are used internationally by high-energy experimental groups to determine quantum numbers and to search for possible “new physics” associated with recently discovered particles such as the “top quark” and the “tau lepton”, and the expected "Higgs boson". This research has also produced tests for new sources of CP-violation.

Currently, I am trying to understand the implications of some theoretical numerical puzzles I stumbled across which suggest that the top quark has a large chiral weak-moment. If viewed by the weak force it may not be shaped as a “marble” but instead more like a “CD/ROM”. I’m also trying to understand why are there no particles other than fermions and bosons? For example, no more than one electron (a fermion) can occupy a particular quantum state, whereas any number of photons (bosons) can occur in the same quantum state. For particle quanta in field theory, it is mathematically as natural for identical particles to exist such that a maximum of two or three, etc., of them could pile into the same telephone booth. “What are the unusual properties and 'new physics signatures' of such particles?” “Where are they in the universe?”

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Last Updated: 4/6/10