Dr. Satyajit Jena
Associate Professor, Physical Sciences

Email sjena(AT)iisermohali.ac.in
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Research Area

Experimental High Energy Physics, Particle and Nuclear Physics, QGP and Neutrino Physics Instrumentation, Computational Physics: HPC, Blockchain, and AI/ML Applications


I am an Associate Professor at IISER Mohali, where I study particles called neutrinos with the MINERvA experiments. I did my doctorate degree at IIT Bombay in collaboration with ALICE experiment at CERB, and then spent several years at CERN in France and Switzerland near Geneva, before returning to India - IISER Mohali in 2016. My research interests mostly focus on experimental physicist in High Energy Nuclear and Particle Physics. I am involved in the search and precision measurement of the various predictions of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) and Lattice QCDs and experimental verification of neutrino physics. In general, high-energy physics is studying the fundamental constituents of matter and the forces that act upon them. This information is one of the basic pillars for our understanding of nature, the origin of the universe, and physics principles. It is a research area where theoretical development and experimental exploration go hand-in-hand advancing the knowledge of the fundamental laws of nature. For the past two decades, I have been blessed with the unique opportunity to participate in the Indian Experimental High Energy Physics (EHEP) community’s exceptionally diverse physics programs, both in neutrino and collider physics. Notably, I have worked as a member in various collaborations like Indian based Neutrino Observatory (INO), A Large Ion Collider Experiment (ALICE) collaboration at CERN, Geneva, and currently in MINERvA collaboration at Fermilab, USA. As well as research, I am passionate about teaching - both formally and informally. I am a teacher at department of physics, IISER Mohali, where I teach several physics courses.

Collider Physics:

At high enough energies, the nuclear matter is supposed to transform into a state where nucleons are no longer the primary constituents but rather quarks and gluons. Among several types of collisions in the collider, the heavy-ion collisions are considered for a long time as a means to create and study Quark-Gluon Plasma (QGP), which is a deconfined state of matter where quarks and gluons are not bound into nucleons. The measurements of the signatures of QGP provide precision tests of QCD predictions that are sensitive to the presence of new physics. It entails almost all experimental aspects of heavy-ion physics and aims to connect them in the best possible way to the fundamental interaction, which is described by the theory of QCD. This led me to participate in several impressive activities (and eventually earned my Ph.D) on already harvested data in ALICE Collaboration at LHC, Geneva. During the period under review, we have extensively worked on the data and already published data to establish finding the system’s temperature. During this activity, we have written several articles (arXiv:2103.16247, arXiv:2103.1511, arXiv:2103.14547, arXiv:2103.13896, arXiv:2103.1310, arXiv:2103.11185, arXiv:2012.08124, arXiv:2012.08515, arXiv:2012.05502) which are being published in reputed journals, I have supervised a Ph.D. thesis submission, a postdoc and more than 12 BSMS theses.

Neutrino Physics:

Neutrino physics has seen exciting developments over the past several years, following the experimental evidence of their oscillations in the atmospheric and solar sectors; precise measurements of neutrino properties play a crucial role in understanding fundamental interactions and physics. The neutrino oscillation experiments depend critically on the accurate theory of neutrino interactions as experiments lack event-by-event knowledge of the incoming neutrino energy. This put the experimentalist to build bigger and better detectors for precision measurement. In this context, the India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) Project is a multi-institutional effort in India to study neutrinos using 50000 tons of magnetized iron calorimeter detectors. The main goal of INO is to address long-standing problems in neutrino physics, such as the determination of masses and mixing parameters of neutrinos. I was involved both in the feasibility study and detector R&D activities related to the INO collaboration several BSMS students visited the INO R&D facility at TIFR and Madurai as a part of this activity. At the same time, I am also a member of MINERvA Collaboration at Fermilab, USA to carry out further research on already harvested data at Fermilab, USA. During these activities, two BSMS theses have been completed and a Ph.D. thesis has also been submitted.

Instrumentation and R&D:

As an experimentalist, I actively participate in various detector R&D programs at the technological frontier for current and future particle physics experiments. A few of my notable contributions in instrumentations are developing RPC, PMD, MWPC, and silicon detectors used in particle and medical imaging. These technological developments have numerous applications over a wide range of disciplines in particle, nuclear, accelerator-driven research to medical imaging, radiation physics, and industry interface for implementing the innovations in society at large. Since IISER Mohali doesn’t have a HEP-detector facility, my group is mostly been pursuing detector designing through simulations and modeling work of the detector technologies. I have supervised five BSMS theses and two Ph.D. theses are ongoing as a part of detector development activities.

Computational Physics:

For past two decades, I have been lucky to participate in various computing and software development activities. In particular, I have contributed to the commissioning of several HPC facilities (Specifically, I was instrumental in designing, configuring, and commissioning of New HPC facility in IISER Mohali.) and developed monitoring systems, HEP data analysis packages, and DAQ software. In all places, starting from my pre-master times, I consistently tried to implement automated and self-deciding algorithms and associated hardware. I am actively involved in the research & application of advanced hardware-level application in physics to fully exploit the potentials of the enormous amount of data being generated now and so to be produced in future experiments, and a crucial goal of these activities is to investigate & develop intelligent techniques using state-of-art tools.  Currently, we are involved in the development & application of intelligent techniques for data analysis using state-of-art AI/ML tools. Our group have been involved in the development of several tracking ML/AI algorithms to isolate exotic or rare events, electromagnetic shower at calorimeter cell-level particle identification, and tracking algorithms. Some of our works can be found here Particle Track Reconstruction using Geometric Deep Learning arXiv:2012.08515, Shower Identification in Calorimeter using Deep Learning arXiv:2103.16247, and Jet characterization in Heavy Ion Collisions by QCD-Aware Graph Neural Networks arXiv:2103.14906. 4 BSMS students have been trained through this works and several BSMS students are currently working in this area. 

This is how and why I am working in an exciting field of research; I love devices, I love my profession, and fortunate to pursue a work, which is also a passion….

Selected Publications

  • Measurement of the axial vector form factor from antineutrino–proton scattering, MINERvA, Nature 614 (2023) 7946, 48-53

  • Improved constraint on the MINERνA medium energy neutrino flux using anti-neutrino-electron data, MINERvA Phys. Rev. D 107 (2023) 1, 012001

  • Simultaneous Measurement of Proton and Lepton Kinematics in Quasielasticlike muon-neutrino-Hydrocarbon Interactions from 2 to 20 GeV, Phys. Rev. Lett. 129 (2022) 2, 021803, 2203.08022 [hep-ex]

  • Vertex finding in neutrino-nucleus interaction: a model architecture comparison, JINST 17 (2022) 08, T08013, e-Print: 2201.02523 [hep-ex]

  • A unified formalism to study the pseudo-rapidity spectra in heavy-ion collision, Eur. Phys. J. A 57, 224 (2021).

  • Neutral pion reconstruction using machine learning in the experiment at 〈Eν〉 6 GeV, JINST 16 P07060 (2021)

  • A unified formalism to study transverse momentum spectra in heavy-ion collision, Physics Letters B,Volume 807,(10 August 2020), 135551.

  • Double-differential inclusive charged-current ν μ cross sections on hydrocarbon in MINERvA at ⟨Eν⟩∼ 3.5 GeV, Phys. Rev. D 101, 112007 (2020) IF:4.83

  • Nucleon binding energy and transverse momentum imbalance in neutrino-nucleus reactions, Phys. Rev. D 101, 112007 (2020)

  • Measurement of Quasielastic-Like Neutrino Scattering at 3.5 GeV on a Hydrocarbon Target, Phys. Rev. D 100, 092001 (2019)

  • Tuning the genie pion production model with MINERvA data, Phys. Rev. D 121, 072005 (2019)

  • Measurement of final-state correlations in neutrino muon-proton meson less production on hydrocarbon at 3 GeV, Phys. Rev. Lett. 121, 022504 (2018)

  • Enhanced production of multi-strange hadrons in high-multiplicity proton-proton collisions, Nature Phys. 13 (2017), 535-539

  • Charged-particle multiplicity distributions over a wide pseudorapidity range in proton-proton collisions at 0.9, 7, and 8 TeV, Eur. Phys. J. C, 77, 12, 852 (2017)

  • Production of muons from heavy-flavour hadron decays in p-Pb collisions at 5.02 TeV, Phys. Lett. B. 770 (2016), 459-472

  • Correlated Event-by-Event Fluctuations of Flow Harmonics in Pb-Pb Collisions at 2.76 TeV, Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 182301 (2016).

  • Inclusive photon production at forward rapidities in proton-proton collisions at 0.9, 2.76 and 7 TeV, Eur. Phys. J. C., 75, 4, 146 (2015).

  • Precision measurement of the mass difference between light nuclei and anti-nuclei, Nature Phys. 11 (2015) no.10, 811-814,

  • Net-charge fluctuations in Pb-Pb collisions at center of mass energy 2.76 TeV (Thesis Work), Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 152301 (2013

  • Test and characterization of prototype silicon–tungsten electromagnetic calorimeter, Nucl. Instr. and Meth. A764 (2014) 24-29

  • INO prototype detector and data acquisition system, Nucl. Instr. and Meth. A, 602 (2009) 784787

    Development of glass resistive plate chambers for INO experiment, Nucl. Instr. and Meth. A, 602 (2009) 744748.

  • I co-authored more than 200 peer-reviewed papers and several internal notes. Complete list of publications can be found here