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Mahir Saleh Hussein

Mahir Saleh Hussein, Iraqi-born Brazilian nuclear physicist (Bagdad 21 November 1944 – São Paulo 16 May 2019)

World authority in theoretical nuclear physics

Authored over 350 papers and 5 books (with over 7,000 citations)

With K.W. McVoy developed the Nested-Doorway model at Phys. Rev. Lett. 43:1645, 1979

With L.F. Canto, R. Donangelo & A. Lepine clarified the origin of the anomalous large-angle scattering of systems as 16O + 28Si as being related to alpha-cluster nature of these nuclei which allows elastic transfer at Phys. Rev. Lett. 51:95, 1983

Developed the formal complex potential scattering theory (1987)

Suggested a mechanism where a powerful laser is coupled to a beam of electrons and through an ingenious setup involving magnets with alternating polarities placed at distances along the accelerator, the electrons injected with MeV energies, could reach GeV energies after travelling one meter (laser driven accelerators)

Showed the relevance of the coupling of the different channels to the low Q-value breakup channels even at low energies (1991-2)

An important paper

With Mauricio Porto Pato (IF-USP), L.F. Canto & R. Donangelo (UFRJ). Near barrier fusion of 11Li with heavy spherical and deformed targets. Phys. Rev. C46:377, 1992

Demonstrated the break-up and fusion properties of exotic nuclei in loosely bound systems. Phys. Rev. Lett. (1992)

Proposed Super Chemistry model

First to propose the idea of a hybrid atomic-molecular Bose-Einstein condensate and pointed out the peculiar properties of Bose-Einstein condensates to the transition from an atomic to a molecular condensate

This paper has become the standard reference in the field

With E. Timmermans, P. Tomasini & A. Kerman. Feshbach resonances in atomic Bose-Einstein condensates. Phys. Report 315:199, 1999

With B.V. Carlson, A.F.R. de Toledo Piza & L.F. Canto developed a reaction theory for exotic nuclei and a detailed model for the excitation and decay of multiple giant resonances (1999)

Established Sao Paulo potential

With Luiz Carlos Chanon, B.V. Carlson, L.R. Gasques, D. Pereira, C. de Conti, M.A.G. Alvarez, M.A. Candido Ribeiro, E.S. Rossi Jr. & C.P. Silva. Toward a global description of the nucleus-nucleus interaction. Phys. Rev. C66:014610, 2002

Authored a 111-page technical article which helped to explain experimental results achieved in particle accelerators in many countries that gave him international visibility (Physics Reports 2006)

With Pierre Descouvemont developed MCDCC (Microscopic Continuum Discretized Coupled Channels), a new method for calculating the behavior of exotic nuclei (2013)

With Bill Poirier developed a novel path-based formulation for quantum mechanics

With M.P. Pato developed the Deformed Gaussian Orthogonal Ensemble (DGOE) that generalized to the other universal ensembles


With A.C. Bertuola. Metodo de dimensionamento dos meios de fixação de estruturas mecânicas submetidas a abalos sísmicos (Stability of mechanical structures subject to seismic activity) PI06008682 (2006)

With M.P. Pato. Acelerador de partículas movido a laser (Laser Driven Particle Accelerators) PI9201269 (1992)


Distinguished Tinker Visiting Professor, University of Wisconsin, Madison (1979-80)

Martin Gutzwiller Fellow, Max Planck Institute (2008)