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Steve Chaplin
University Communications

Last modified: Friday, March 1, 2013

Work of late IU physicist Serot focus of March 6 symposium in his honor

University of Tokyo's Matsui, after "Remembering Brian," will offer Konopinski lecture

March 1, 2013

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The late Indiana University physicist Brian David Serot -- a four-time winner of the IU Trustees' Teaching Award still remembered for his calm rationality and encyclopedic knowledge of the field -- will be honored with a one-day symposium March 6 at IU's Center for Exploration of Energy and Matter.

Brian Serot

Brian Serot, 1955-2012

Print-Quality Photo

Serot, who passed away in March 2012 after a long battle with cancer, was one of the creators of the area called "quantum hadrodynamics" or QHD. His work "The Relativistic Nuclear Many-Body Problem," co-authored with J.D. Walecka in Advances in Nuclear Physics in 1986, is considered a classic and is the second-most cited paper in the field of nuclear theory. A professor and member of CEEM, Serot will be remembered next week through presentations by eight physicists from around the world.

"Brian Serot was an extraordinary researcher, a brilliant teacher and mentor and a major contributor to IU's Nuclear Theory Center," said IU Department of Physics professor and Wells Scholars Program director Tim Londergan. "His work in creating QHD was highly successful in providing a relativistic field theory for nuclei. It is now understood as an effective theory of strongly interacting particles and has been interpreted in terms of a density functional theory."

Londergan will deliver a welcome, introduction and opening remarks beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the CEEM, located at 2401 N. Milo B. Sampson Lane, Bloomington. IU physics professor Charles Horowitz will also participate in the symposium, speaking at 9:45 a.m. on the topic, "Brian and Relativistic Mean Field Theory."

Other presenters include Cleveland State University's George Walker, who served for 12 years as the vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School at Indiana University, Dick Fumstahl of Ohio State University, Tetsuo Matsui of the University of Tokyo, Ray Bishop of the University of Manchester, Jorge Piekarewicz of Florida State University, Jim Napolitano of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Hiroshi Uechi of Osaka Gakuin University.

Matsui, whose symposium presentation is titled "Remembering Brian: Passion for Perfection," will also present the Joseph and Sophia Konopinksi Colloquia Series lecture titled "Exploring Extreme States of Matter." That lecture and discussion of the current understanding of the extreme states of matter as learned from the latest results of ultra-relativistic nuclear collisions will be given at 4 p.m. the same day at Swain West 113.

The symposium and colloquium will include a morning coffee break, lunch at CEEM and a pre-colloquium coffee at Swain West 113. Both events are free and open to the public and transportation will be provided from CEEM to Swain West. The symposium will end with a dinner at Chapman's Restaurant, 4506 E. Third St., Bloomington.

For the complete symposium schedule, registration information and a biography of Serot, visit the "Symposium in Honor Brian Serot," call 812-855-9365 or email For more information about the Konopinski colloquium, email