I work in theoretical Hadronic and Nuclear Physics, and I investigate how mass, charge and magnetism gets distributed among the quarks
that compose the nucleons, the particles that in turn are assembled in the
nucleus of the atoms. The distribution of charge and magnetism inside the nucleons
is what makes atomic nuclei suitable for important applications such as magnetic
resonance imaging. It also tells us how nucleons and nuclei couple to photons, i.e. absorb and emit light, and what are the rates of photo-nuclear reactions that occur in the cosmos and the formation of elements.
Important open questions related to my research are: How does energy get stored in atoms? What does the emmissivity of matter under extreme conditions tell us about the workings of the universe? How do elementary quarks acquire mass inside the protons that make up atomic nuclei? What is the origin of the proton magnetic properties?
I am an author of "Nucleus: a trip to the heart of matter", translated into 5 european languages and corean, and authored more than 100 scientific papers.
I contributed to pioneer studies on the origin of three-nucleon forces, forces that involve simultaneously three nucleons, cannot be reduced to pairwise forces. They determine emergent and collective behavior of nucleons inside nuclei and are necessary to bind them together and to form nuclear matter in certain stars.
I supervised 16 Master's Dissertations, 3 Doctoral Dissertations and 4 post-doctorates.
I am a member of the European Research Committee on Few-Body Problems, and the International Light Cone Advisory Committee, ILCAC.
I have presented numerous invited lectures and lectures at international institutions and conferences, and I have served on the Scientific Advisory Board of several international conferences. I was Visiting Professor at Ohio University, and distinguished with "The Robert and Rene’ Glidden Visiting Professorship ", attributed to" Distinguished individuals who have attained wide recognition based upon artistic, engineering, historical, literary, or scientific achievement. "
I was part of the authors of the proposal of the Master in Biomedical Engineering and served as coordinator of that course. I was also Coordinador of the Master in Physics Engineering and member of its Scientific Committee.
Served the last two years as President of the Department of Physics.
Served at other Faculty and University bodies, namely at the Senate of Ulisboa and the Scientific Council of IST.
In 2013-2016 I was President of the Portuguese Physical Society.
In 2007-2013 I was Director of the Portuguese Physical Society journal Gazeta de Física, and a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Europhysics News, publication of the European Physical Society.
I am an elected member of the Executive Commitee of the European Physical Society, since 2018.