The McDonnell Center has a rich history of visiting scientists collaborating with Washington University’s space science research efforts. The Center provides resources to bring scientists to the Washington University campus for periods of up to one year. Visiting scientists have represented broad areas of expertise, such as Non-accelerator Particle Physics, Gravitational Waves, and Cosmology. This program infuses new ideas and concepts into the Washington University scientific community. At the same time visiting scientists benefit from access to established university faculty.
Victor A. Khodel, Russian Research Centre, Kurchatov Institute, Moscow, has visited the Washington University campus for ten years. He and John W. Clark, Wayman Crow Professor of Physics, continue collaborations on Phase Transitions in Dense Astrophysical Matter.
Their research project seeks a deeper understanding of the internal microstructure of neutron stars, and especially the exotic phases of matter that are expected to be present inside these superdense objects. Clark and Khodel develop and apply advanced methods of quantum many-body theory, with the goal of quantitative prediction of microsopic properties of neutron-star matter having significant impact on observable properties of neutron stars. Their approaches are informed by and contribute to rapidly evolving theoretical concepts and techniques of condensed-matter physics.