Arturo Menchaca Rocha

General Coordinator

Arturo Menchaca Rocha majored in Physics at the Faculty of Sciences of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (FCUNAM) obtaining the degree in 1970, and in 1974 a doctorate in Nuclear Physics from the University of Oxford in England. He did a postdoctoral fellowship at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory at the University of California. For 40 years he has worked as a researcher at the Institute of Physics, UNAM.

His areas of expertise are the reaction mechanisms between complex nuclei, detection of charged particles and hydrodynamic simulation of nuclear reactions, topic in which he is a pioneer. Currently he is also working on issues related to cosmic radiation. From his experience, he and his group have been invited to collaborate in the AMS project, in which CERN and NASA participate, that involves the search for dark matter and cosmic antinuclei with an instrument that is now installed on the International Space Station. Likewise, he also assists in the ALICE project at CERN where he studies the production mechanisms of light antinuclei. Also, with his research group, he built a muon detector that was installed under the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan, discovering hitherto density variations in the volume of this monument that are possibly associated with significant non-uniformities in the internal humidity pattern.

He is the author and/or co-author of 221 publications in refereed journals, which have been cited more than 15,000 times in the specialized literature (M = 64) according to Google Scholar. He has directed 31 thesis, hosted student stays (postdoctoral and others) of Mexico, Canada and France, given more than 200 lectures, and organized numerous national and international conferences. Several of the students who completed their thesis under his direction are researchers today in Mexico (UNAM and UAM) and foreign institutions (Oak Ridge National Lab., University of Chicago, University of Santiago de Chile, etc.).

In recognition of his academic performance, in 1976 he joined the Mexican Academy of Sciences (AMC). In 1988 he received level III status of the National System of Researchers (SNI). In 1997 he received the Award for Scientific Research of the Mexican Physical Society, in 2003 won the Fernando Alba Medal for his contributions to the development of experimental physics in Mexico and in 2004 won the National Prize for Arts and Sciences. Since 1976 he is member of the Mexican Society of Physics and the American Physical Society, while in 2006 he was appointed Fellow of the Institute of Physics (UK). Other awards: in 2010 "Member of the 300" by the magazine Mexican Leaders; in 2012 "Quo-Discovery Mind" and "Ambassador of Knowledge" by Grupo Editorial Quo and the Discovery Channel.

He founded the Division of Nuclear Physics of the Mexican Society of Physics (SMF), was Director of the Institute of Physics of the UNAM (2003-2007), Coordinator of the AMC Section of Physics repeatedly and member of the Evaluation Commission National Researchers System of Area I, which he chaired in 2005. That same year he was the organizer of the International Year of Physics at UNAM, successful event that coordinated the efforts over 700 academics. He was President of the Mexican Academy of Sciences (2010-2012) and now member of the Science Advisory Council of the Presidency of the Republic as General Coordinator.

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