Sidney A. Coon

Adjunct Professor


PhD, 1972, Univ. of Maryland

Fields of Study: 

Nuclear Physics

Research Interests: 

Sidney A. Coon is a nuclear physicist who has worked in many-body physics, the nucleon- nucleon interaction (especially charge symmetry breaking) and chiral symmetry breaking. His publication count, according to the Web of Science is 74 with average citations per item of 33. His h-index is 26. He was elected a Fellow of the APS for “contributions to the development of our understanding of few-nucleon systems, and the development of realistic models of the three-nucleon force.” The Tucson-Melbourne three-nucleon force model was “niche physics” during its development, but it is now generally believed that three-nucleon forces are essential to explain the properties of nuclei from interactions among nucleons. This is one of the four main goals put forth in the Nuclear Science Advisory Council's Long-Range Plan.

His last three appointments before retirement were full professor at New Mexico State University, program officer for theoretical physics at the National Science Foundation, and “physicist” (program officer for nuclear theory) in the Office of Nuclear Physics, DOE. He is presently partially supported by the DOE award titled “Effective Theories of the Strong Interaction” led by Sean Fleming and Ubirajara van Kolck. This research program continues development of a tool to simplify the strong interaction, without losing important physics, called effective field theories (EFTs). His current primary interest is the application of EFTs to the nuclear many-body problem and to other many-body problems which might be amenable to this tool.

Honors and Awards: 

Woodrow Wilson Fellow

National Defense Education Act Fellow

Fellow, American Physical Society

Principal Investigator of seven National Science Foundation awards totaling 18 years

Selected Publications: 

S. A. Coon, M. I. Avetian, M. K. G. Kruse, U. van Kolck, P. Maris, J. P. Vary, “Convergence properties of ab initio calculations of light nuclei in a harmonic oscillator basis”, Physical Review C 86, 054002 (2012).

J. L. Friar, U. van Kolck, G. L. Payne, S. A. Coon, “Charge-symmetry breaking and the two-pion-exchange two-nucleon interaction”, Physical Review C 68, 024003 (2003).

S. A. Coon, and B. R. Holstein, “Anomalies in quantum mechanics: the 1/r2 poten- tial”, Am. J. Phys. 70, 513 (2002).

S. A. Coon, M. D. Scadron, P.C. McNamee, B. R. Barrett, D. W. E. Blatt, and B. H. J. McKellar, “The two-pion-exchange three-nucleon potential and nuclear matter”, Nuclear Physics A317, 242 (1979).

K. A. Brueckner, S. A. Coon, and J. Dabrowski, “Nuclear symmetry energy”, Physical Review 168, 1134 (1968).