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The University of Southampton
STAG Research Centre

2022 STAG prizes

The 2022 STAG prize winners are:


Best publication in gravitational physics

Thomas Celora is awarded the gravity prize for his work on incorporating bulk viscosity associated with nuclear reactions into nonlinear simulations. This is the first work analysing this issue and the paper explains the numerical issues that arise. A particular highlight of the paper is the work on neutron star merger simulations, which demonstrates the limitations of earlier approaches and approximations.  

Link to Thomas Celora's paper


Best publication in high-energy physics

In High Energy Physics there is a joint award, with Geraint Evans and Jack Mitchell separately recognised for their work in improving our understanding of quantum chromodynamics, or QCD, the theory of the strong nuclear interaction. Both awardees were the driving forces in their respective projects. Geraint demonstrated analytically the existence of a "superconducting baryon crystal" state for QCD in very large magnetic fields, improving our understanding of the QCD phase diagram. Jack developed a string-theory based "holographic" description of quarks in QCD, with low-mass bound-states whose masses match data well. In both cases the results are relevant for understanding quark matter in extreme conditions, for example in heavy-ion collisions or in neutron stars. 

Link to Geraint Evan's paper

Link to Jack Mitchell's paper


Best publication in astrophysics

Noel Castro Segura is awarded the Astrophysics prize for his work on studying multi-phase outflows in the low-mass X-ray binary system Swift J1858. Low-mass X-ray binaries are powerful laboratories for understanding the physics of accretion onto neutron stars. Using a suite of state-of-the-art space telescopes and ground-based observatories Noel and a team of astronomers were able to simultaneously observe signatures of both warm winds at ultraviolet wavelengths and cooler winds at optical wavelengths. This is the first such multi-wavelength, multi-phase study of outflowing gas from a neutron star binary. By studying the time-variable signatures of these winds, they also observationally confirmed theoretical predictions regarding how these winds respond to changes in brightness of the neutron star itself. The results have strong implications for understanding both the physics of neutron stars as well as how they interact with their surrounding environment. 

Link to Noel Castro Segura's paper


Public engagement

Filip Landgren has created a new podcast series 'People behind physics' focusing on exciting ideas and recent developments in string theory, quantum gravity and black hole physics. These podcasts are distributed via Spotify and YouTube, and the series has attracted a wide audience, both researchers within physics, engineering and mathematics, and members of the general public with an interest in fundamental physics. Filip's series complements and enhances the public engagement work of the STAG research centre, reaching out to new audiences.


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Thomas Celora
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Geraint Evans and Jack Mitchell
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Noel Castro Segura
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Filip Landgren
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