Min Chen

Professor of Physics, Emeritus
Has pioneered the field of reverse Cherenkov Radiation (RCR) in left-handed material since 2003.
(617) 253-8379
Office: 24-504
Affiliated Center(s): Laboratory for Nuclear Science (LNS)
Assistant: Nico Lang

Research Interests

Particle Physics; Meta Material; Backward Cherenkov Radiation; Testing Babinet Principle in electron induced radiations.

Biographic Sketch

Professor Chen has pioneered the field of reverse Cherenkov Radiation (RCR) in left-handed material since 2003, after working on Particles Physics for 30 years highlighted with the discovery of the J-Particle in 1974 and the Gluons, the carrier of the Nuclear Forces, in 1979 and the study of the properties of the Weak Bosons over the period 1985 to 1995:

  • 1970: personally, designed to build a precision vertical bending double arm mass spectrometer, later leading to the discovery of the J-particle, not predicted by theory.
  • 1974: first eliminates the background to find the sharp J-particle peak, showing the composite properties of a new heavy (Charm) quark-antiquark composite system, establishing the quark model that quarks are the basic building block of everything in the universe.
  • 1976: invited to participate in the Nobel Prize ceremony for the experimental group leader Prof. S. C. C. Ting due to the discovery of J-particle.
  • 1979: developed a new mathematical method to calculate the energy distribution of the hadrons produced by high energy positive and negative electron collisions, leading to the discovery of 3-jets and the carrier of the Nuclear forces, the Gluons.
  • 1983: Fellow of Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
  • 1995: European Institute of Physics Nuclear Force carrier – Group Gluon Discovery Award.
  • 2003: Launching the study of the backward Cherenkov radiation using man-made left-hand material.
  • 2010: The backward Cherenkov radiation paper won the best paper award from the IEEE International Electromagnetism Application Conference.
  • 2012: Invited by the President of Taiwan University to participate in the assessment of university academic courses.
  • 2013: Awarded Outstanding Contribution Award for Academic Course Evaluation of Department of Physics and Astronomy, Shanghai Jiao tong University.
  • 2013: Introduced the MIT-edX course to Taiwan and invited 14 well-known Taiwanese educators to MIT to learn MIT’s MOOCS.
  • 2014: Phi-Tau-Phi Academic Honors Award.
  • 2013-2014-2015-2016: lectured at the University of Macau, Tunghai University, Electronic Science and Technology University, Zhejiang University on 1. Science and Humanities, 2. Methods of Major Scientific Discoveries, 3. Method of Developing the Standard Theory, and 4. Network teaching Methods.
  • 2017: First Direct Observation of Backward Cherenkov Radiation in Electron Beams.

He did both the theoretical prediction and computation, designed the first meta-material for RCR, which is transverse magnetic field, versus all the previous meta material being for transverse electric waves only, and he made the first convincing experimental demonstration of RCR. In 1995, he got European Physics Society Prize for the discovery of the Gluon, the carrier of the Nuclear Forces. In 2010, he got the “Best Paper Award” granted by 2010 International Conference EEE on Application of Electromagnetism for his experimental verification of reversed Cherenkov radiation in left-handed material, which was also in the discovery story for the January 2010 issue of Photonics Spectra (www.photonics.com). Recently he has developed a new method and obtained a patent in China and in the USA, to generate enhanced terahertz (THz) surface wave (SW) via its coupling with reversed Cherenkov radiation (RCR), excited by a sheet beam bunch which travels in a vacuum above an isotropic double negative metamaterial (DNM). The physical mechanism for the enhancement is that this DNM can support a RCR which can resonantly interact with a sheet electron beam bunch, resulting in an enhanced SW, formed due to its coupling with the enhanced RCR. Numerical results show strong enhancement for the SW and RCR in the THz band. This enhanced THz radiation has potential applications to high-power THz radiation sources and Cherenkov detectors which require large signals. He has made the theoretical computation and is now testing the Babinet principle which relates the polarization of the radiation emitted by a meta material with that emitted by its meta complementary surface.

Awards & Honors

  • 2014 // Phi-Tau-Phi Academic Honors Award
  • 2013 // Awarded Outstanding Contribution Award for Academic Course Evaluation of Department of Physics and Astronomy, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • 2010 // IEEE International Electromagnetism Application Conference Best Paper award for The backward Cherenkov radiation paper won the best paper
  • 1995 // Group Gluon Discovery Award, European Institute of Physics Nuclear Force carrier
  • 1983 // Fellow, Guggenheim Memorial Foundation

Key Publications

  • Observation of the reversed Cherenkov radiation; http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms14901. 2017

  • Polarized Electron,induced Radiation (SPE) Based on Babinet principle; PRL 117; 157401 (Oct.; 2016).

  • “Left-handed Metamaterial Design for Čerenkov Radiation”, B.-I. Wu, J. Lu, J. Kong, and M. Chen, Journal of Applied Physics 102, 114907, (2007).

  • “Cerenkov Radiation in Materials with Negative Permittivity and Permeability” J. Lu, T. Grzegorczyk, Y. Zhang, J. Pacheco Jr., B.-I. Wu, J. A. Kong, and M. Chen, Optics Express 11, 723-734 (2003).

  • “A Precise Measurement of the Number of Neutrino Species”, with L3 collaboration, B. Adeva etal, Phys. Lett. B 249 (1990) 341.