Hermann F. Wellenstein

hermann wellensteinAssociate Professor of Physics, Emeritus


PhD, University of Texas, 1971

BSci, University of London, 1966


Hermann Wellenstein was interested in interactions of fundamental particles at the highest possible energy. He used his expertise as an atomic molecular physicist to design, build, and test, with the other members of the Brandeis experimental high-energy physics group and some hundred physicists around the world, the muon detector for the ATLAS system of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a very high energy proton-proton collider at CERN.

When protons traveling at close to the speed of light are smashed together inside the collider, a set of new subatomic particles are released. Herman Wellenstein and his colleagues developed software that monitors the detectors that trace the pathways taken by the new particles. This work turned out to have applications in other spheres. As detailed in a summer 2017 Brandeis Magazine article, when Hermann's late wife, Monika '85, was suffering from lupus and the side effect dry-eye syndrome he looked for ways to make treating the condition less uncomfortable for her and other patients. To treat it, Monika needed scleral lenses, similar to contact lenses but large enough to cover most of the sclera, the white outer region of the eyeball. Working with Brandeis undergraduates Forrest Webler '14, Dave Matthews '18 and Joel Herman '20, Hermann developed Sclervey, a system to survey the sclera so patients with dry-eye syndrome and other corneal diseases could be fitted for lenses more efficiently.

Read Provost Lisa M. Lynch's letter to the community, Jan. 31, 2019 detailing Wellenstein's research and teaching career.

CV and full list of publications

Sample of Recent Publications

"Charged-particle multiplicities in pp interactions at sqrt(s) = 900 GeV measured with the ATLAS detector at the LHC," (ATLAS Collaboration, G. Aad et al.). Phys.Lett.B688:21-42,2010.

"The case for a directional dark matter detector and the status of current experimental efforts,"  (S. Ahlen et al.) Nov 2009. 48pp. Brief entry Int.J.Mod.Phys.A25:1-51,2010. 

"Study of the ATLAS MDT spectrometer using high energy CERN combined test beam data,"  (C. Adorisio et al.). Nucl.Instrum.Meth.A598:400-415,2009.

"Observation of the 'head-tail' effect in nuclear recoils of low-energy neutrons,"  (D. Dujmic et al.). Nucl.Instrum.Meth.A584:327-333,2008.

"Mapping the large area straw detectors of the COMPASS experiment with X-rays,"  (K. Platzer, et al.). IEEE Trans.Nucl.Sci.52:793-798,2005.

"Construction of monitored drift tube chambers for ATLAS end-cap muon spectrometer at IHEP, Protvino," (J. Bensinger et al.) Nucl.Instrum.Meth.A494:480-486,2002.