Physics at Virginia

Xiaochao Zheng

Ph.D., 2002, MIT

Experimental Nuclear and Particle Physics

Research Interests

Professor Zheng conducts research at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (JLab). Her research interest includes study of the nucleon structure, especially the spin structure of the neutron using the polarized 3He target. The nucleon structure is determined by how quarks and gluons interact with each other, thus such information could reveal some fundamental properties of the strong interaction and QCD. Another major aspect of Prof. Zheng's research is parity violation (PV) in electron deep inelastic scattering (DIS). By measuring the PVDIS asymmetry off a hydrogen and a deuterium target, one could test the Standard Model of electro-weak interaction at an energy much lower than the Z-pole and to study many interesting hadronic effects such as charge symmetry violation and the asymmetry in the sea quark distribution inside the nucleon. To learn more about Prof. Zheng's research, please visit her group webpage

News Items

Prof. Xiaochao Zheng is the winner of the 2023 Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award.  From UVAToday: She piques student interest by framing physics as a ......More >
Xiaochao Zheng was quoted in a Quantamagazine article about the ongoing research into the internal structure of the proton. From Quantamagazine: Proof that the ......More >
Prof. Xiaochao Zheng has been selected as a winner of a UVa Student Council 2022 Teaching Award.  According to Adriana Gao, UVa Student Council's Director of Academic Affairs: ......More >
A new result from the PREX-2 experiment, recently published in Physical Review Letters, ......More >
The world may be buzzing about the muon spin this week, but the proton spin poses just as much challenge to the field of nuclear and particle physics. Analysis for an experiment that was ......More >
Xiaochao Zheng is interviewed in Nature News article about the highly successful virtual APS April Meeting. See More >
The weak charge of the proton has been measured to high precision, for the first time, by the Q-weak experiment at the Department of Energy’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator ......More >
Upon the recomendation of the Topical Group on Hadronic Physics (GHP), Xiaochao Zheng has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society.  The citation reads: ......More >
From UVa Today: "...Xiaochao Zheng, associate professor of physics Because 3-D printing is a relatively new field, many undergraduate physics students have ......More >
From Science:"... electrons also interact with the nuclei through the weak force, which violates parity and is not mirror symmetric. As a result, right-spinning and left-spinning electrons ......More >


APS Fellow [2015]
For advancing the measurement of parity violating asymmetry in electron-nucleon deep inelastic scattering.