The physicist Daniel Pablos Alfonso will join the staff of the Instituto Galego de Física de Altas Enerxías (IGFAE), a joint centre of the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC) and the Xunta de Galicia, in the coming weeks. It will do so through the European Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowships (MSCA-PF) programme, which funds the recruitment of scientists with a maximum of eight years of research experience. In the 2023 call, USC was the second most successful Spanish public university in this programme, with nine proposals selected.

Daniel Pablos, originally from Tarragona, received his PhD in 2016 under the supervision of Prof. Jorge Casalderrey at the University of Barcelona. Subsequently, he developed his postdoctoral career at McGill University in Canada (two years), followed by two years at the University of Bergen (Norway).

Later, he obtained the Fellini grant from the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), to develop from Turin (Italy) the JetQGP project, “Jet Quenching and the Nature of the Quark-Gluon Plasma”, where he stayed for three years.

Phenomenology of high-energy jets in heavy-ion collisions

Pablos explains that, throughout his career, his research has focused “on the phenomenology of high-energy jets in heavy-ion collisions”. Thus, he has developed “models with which we have been able to understand many of the observable characteristics of the modification of the jets due to the interaction with the medium formed in the collisions, the quark-gluon plasma”.

More recently, much of his activity has focused on “understanding and trying to mitigate the effects of selection biases in the analysis of the substructure of the jets, using for example Artificial Intelligence, as well as looking for ways to describe and measure the effect of the jet’s passage through the medium, whose apparent fluid behaviour leads us to expect the appearance of contrails”.

According to Pablos, “the surprising measurement of fluid-like collectivity effects in proton-proton and proton-nucleus collisions, very similar to those measured in heavy-ion collisions, is a challenge for the high-energy scientific community.

Thus, through funding from the MSCA-PF programme, Daniel Pablos will develop the AntScat project, “Interactions among Coherent Objects and the Origin of Collectivity in QCD at Colliders”, in which he will study the type of correlations induced by interactions between objects that preserve quantum coherence, such as dipoles or antennas. These interactions, he concludes, “will be included in effective kinetic theory models and parton shower models to quantify the importance of this new type of correlations in the description of the intriguing collectivity effects present in all types of hadronic collisions”.