Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
467 Loomis Laboratory
1 (217) 333-5026
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Professor Aida El-Khadra received her PhD. in 1989 from the University of California, Los Angeles, after receiving her diplom from Freie Universitaeät, Berlin, Germany. She held postdoctoral research appointments at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and the Ohio State Univerity before joining the Illinois faculty in 1995.
Prof. El-Khadra is a leader of one of the most successful lattice QCD groups in the world. Low-energy strong interaction physics cannot be analyzed perturbatively; our only recourse has been numerical simulation using the lattice formulation of quantum chromodynamics (QCD). For almost 20 years this field produced very little that was useful to others outside the field. This unfortunate situation has changed dramatically over the past several years, and Prof. El-Khadra and her collaborators have played a central role in this renaissance. Their accomplishments include the first correct analysis of standard lattice actions when applied to heavy quarks (central to most serious lattice studies of heavy-quark weak-interaction phenomenology); the first serious attempt at obtaining the strong-interaction coupling constant from lattice simulations (now the most accurate way to determine the fundamental parameter of strong-interaction physics); a new lattice formulation of quark dynamics that works well for both light and heavy quarks; and careful determinations of the light-quark masses using lattice simulations. This work emphasizes practical applications of lattice QCD—for example, to the sorts of problems of central interest to the next generation of B-factories, at SLAC, KEK and CESR—and so is at the center of the most important area of lattice QCD research.