Professor Kent Paschke

Experimental Electroweak and Nuclear Physics

I am an Associate Professor of Physics at University of Virginia, with an active research program at JLab in Newport News, Virginia.

My research focuses on the measurement of parity violation in electron scattering for the study of the structure of nucleons and nuclei and as a sensitive search for physics beyond the Standard model of electroweak physics. I recently ran a series of experiments in both Halls A and C at JLab, studying strange quarks in nuclei, nuclear structure in a 208Pb nucleus, and the electroweak coupling of the nucleons. I have assembled a laboratory at the University of Virginia to support these experiments, and in particular to continue research on the laser optics used in the Jefferson Lab polarized electron source and to study laser systems used for Compton polarimetry.

Teaching: PHYS 2010 Principles of Physics I (Webpage, UVaCollab)

Undergraduate Research Opportunities: I am looking for creative and talented undergraduate research assistants to contribute to my program of sub-atomic physics studies. Several hardware and software/computing projects are presently available. Email me, or just drop by my office, to discuss the options, including the possibility of summer employment in physics research.


  • PREX-2 and CREX passed an Experimental Readiness Review in May 2016, keeping these experiments on track for possible installation in the latter half of 2018.

  • Graduate student Caryn Palatchi has been awarded a JSA Graduate Fellowship for 2017-2018. She was also selected for an Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (MWC/ARCS) Foundation Scholar for 2017-2018.

  • The April 2017 APS meeting (happening January 28-31, don't ask) in Washington, D.C. will have two talks representing work by this research group. Caryn Palatchi will be speaking on efforts to develop an RTP Pockels cell that will meet the demanding specifications of the MOLLER experiment, and Ben Gilbert will be discussing his fits of proton weak form-factor measurements.

  • Manolis Kargiantoulakis has successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis (December 2015). Congratulations, Dr. Kargiantoulakis! (Manolis is now a postdoctoral research associate at Fermilab, working on the mu2e experiment.) A Precision Test of the Standard Model via Parity-Violating Electron Scattering in the Qweak Experiment.

  • Don Jones has successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis (October 2015). Congratulations, Dr. Jones! (Don is now research faculty with Temple University.) Measuring the Weak Charge of the Proton via Elastic Electron-Proton Scattering .