Physics at Virginia

Dinko Počanić

D.Sc., 1981, University of Zagreb
Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Experimental Nuclear and Particle Physics

Research Interests

Professor Počanić is studying basic symmetries and conservation laws manifest at low and intermediate energies, with the aim of obtaining new stringent constraints on the dynamics of the two fundamental short-range interactions: the electroweak and the strong. This work requires precise measurements of the elementary decay and scattering processes typically involving the simplest particles in nature: mesons, leptons, and nucleons.

Main experimental projects:

  • Study of rare pion and muon decays: the PiBeta and PEN experiments at PSI (spokesperson); for more information see the PiBeta and PEN project home pages. Data taking for the PiBeta experiment is completed, data analysis is mostly finished; several processes remain under analysis. The PEN experiment is in the data analysis stage.  A new generation experiment PIONEER, approved in 2022 at PSI, will take the PEN/PiBeta measurements to a new, higher level of precision (for more information see the PIONEER provisional web page and the experiment proposal).
  • Study of neutron decay correlation parameters a and b: the Nab experiment at the Fundamental Neutron Physics Beamline at the Spallation Neutron Source/ORNL (spokesperson). Nab is currently under construction and commissioning at SNS; for more information see the Nab/pNab project home page. Continuing this research program, the subsequent pNab experiment will focus on the A and B spin asymmetry parameters.
  • Precision measurement of the muon magnetic anomaly: the Muon (g-2), E989 eperiment at Fermilab. The goal of E989 is to measure the muon magnetic moment anomaly to the precision of 0.14 parts per million. Data acquisition and analysis are proceeding in parallel. For more information visit the Muon (g-2) experiment home page. A related experiment is MUonE at CERN, a recent initiative to determine the leading hadronic contribution to the muon anomalous magnetic moment through small angle muon-electron scattering.  For further information see the MUonE experiment home pate.

For an up to date list of publications see D.P.'s entry in the inSPIRE database;

News Items

The first result from the Muon g-2 experiment at Fermilab was unveiled and discussed publicly on Wednesday, 7 April 2021, in a special set of online seminars, that attracted widespread ......More >
The weak interaction of quarks between the neutron and proton have been measured for the first time by the NPDGamma experiment at the Spallation Neutron Source in Oak Ridge ......More >
Dinko Pocanic and Stefan Baessler, in collaboration with colleagues from Arizona State University and Oak Ridge National Lab, have received funding for the development of a spectrometer optimized ......More >


APS Fellow [2006]
For leading contributions to measurements of rare decays, structure and interactions of the pi meson.