Dr. Dan Pitonyak

Dan Pitonyak ’08

Assistant Professor of Physics
Co-Chair of Chemistry and Physics

B.S., Lebanon Valley College; Ph.D., Temple University

Atomic and Nuclear Physics, Elementary Particle Physics, Analytical Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism, Quantum Mechanics, Computational Physics

Research & Practice Areas:
Computational Nuclear Physics

Dr. Pitonyak’s student-faculty research focuses on computational nuclear physics. His work attempts to understand the 3-dimensional internal structure of visible matter. Dr. Pitonyak and his students write code in Python to compute high-energy particle collisions and analyze how models fit experimental data. This enables them to extract information on the elementary particles that make up objects like the proton.

  • National Science Foundation grant ($193,628, August 1, 2023–July 31, 2026), Nuclear Theory Program – RUI: Hadronic Structure from Spin Observables in pQCD (Principal Investigator, Award No. PHY-2308567)
  • Department of Energy grant ($1.95 million, January 1, 2023–December 31, 2027), Office of Nuclear Physics – Saturated Glue Topical Collaboration (Senior Personnel)
  • National Science Foundation grant ($164,862, August 15, 2020–July 31, 2023), Nuclear Theory Program – RUI: Hadronic Structure from Spin Observables in pQCD (Principal Investigator, Award No. PHY-2011763)
  • Lead Guest Editor for the Special Issue in Advances in High Energy Physics titled “Transverse Momentum Dependent Observables from Low to High Energy: Factorization, Evolution, and Global Analyses.” May 2019.
  • Dissertation Award from the American Physical Society Group on Hadronic Physics. 2015
  • Referee for Physical Review D, Physical Review Letters, Physics Letters B, Advances in High Energy Physics, International Journal of Modern Physics A, and Nuclear Physics A.

Selected Recent Publications

For a full list, visit Dr. Pitonyak’s page on INSPIRE-HEP.

*Indicates undergraduate student

D. Pitonyak, C. Cocuzza, A. Metz, A. Prokudin, and N. Sato, Number Density Interpretation of Dihadron Fragmentation Functions. Phys. Rev. Lett, 132, 011902 (2024).

Daniel Adamiak, Nicholas Baldonado, Yuri V. Kovchegov, W. Melnitchouk, Daniel Pitonyak, Nobuo Sato, Matthew D. Sievert, Andrey Tarasov, and Yossathorn Tawabutr (Jefferson Lab Angular Momentum (JAM) Collaboration), Global analysis of polarized DIS and SIDIS data with improved small-x helicity evolution. Phys. Rev. D 108, 114007 (2023).

P. C. Barry, L. Gamberg, W. Melnitchouk, E. Moffat, D. Pitonyak, A. Prokudin, and N. Sato (Jefferson Lab Angular Momentum (JAM) Collaboration), Tomography of pions and protons via transverse momentum dependent distributions. Phys. Rev. D 108, L091504 (2023).

*B. Bauer, D. Pitonyak, and *C. Shay, Numerical study of the twist-3 asymmetry ALT in single-inclusive electron-nucleon and proton-proton collisions. Phys. Rev. D 107, 014013 (2023).

L. Gamberg, *M. Malda, *J. A. Miller, D. Pitonyak, A. Prokudin and N. Sato, Updated QCD global analysis of single transverse-spin asymmetries: Extracting H~, and the role of the Soffer bound and lattice QCD, Phys. Rev. D 106, 034014 (2022).

M. Boglione, M. Diefenthaler, S. Dolan, L. Gamberg, W. Melnitchouk, D. Pitonyak, A. Prokudin, N. Sato and Z. Scalyer, New tool for kinematic regime estimation in semi-inclusive deep-inelastic scattering, JHEP 2204, 084 (2022).

S. Bhattacharya, Z. B. Kang, A. Metz, G. Penn and D. Pitonyak, First global QCD analysis of the TMD g1T from semi-inclusive DIS data, Phys. Rev. D 105, 034007 (2022).

R. Abdul Khalek, A. Accardi, J. Adam, D. Adamiak, W. Akers, M. Albaladejo, A. Al-bataineh, M. G. Alexeev, F. Ameli and P. Antonioli, et al., Science Requirements and Detector Concepts for the Electron-Ion Collider: EIC Yellow Report, Nucl. Phys. A 1026, 122447 (2022).

D. Adamiak, Y. V. Kovchegov, W. Melnitchouk, D. Pitonyak, N. Sato and M. D. Sievert, First analysis of world polarized DIS data with small-x helicity evolution, Phys. Rev. D 104, L031501 (2021).

L. Gamberg, Z. B. Kang, D. Pitonyak, A. Prokudin, N. Sato and R. Seidl, Electron-Ion Collider impact study on the tensor charge of the nucleon, Phys. Lett. B 816, 136255 (2021).

*J. Cammarota, L. Gamberg, Z. B. Kang, *J. A. Miller, D. Pitonyak, A. Prokudin, T. C. Rogers and N. Sato, Origin of single transverse-spin asymmetries in high-energy collisions. Phys. Rev. D 102, 054002 (2020).



Dr. Daniel Pitonyak attended the 25th International Spin Physics Conference at Duke University in September 2023 with Penn Smith ’25, who presented in the poster session. Penn’s poster was based on summer 2023 research he conducted with Professor Pitonyak, Jacob Marsh ’25, and Sophia Fitzgibbons ’25, supported by Dr. Pitonyak’s NSF grant.

Dr. Daniel Pitonyak presented “New Framework for the Analysis of Dihadron Fragmentation” at Jefferson Lab’s Theory Group Seminar (remote) and “QCD Global Analysis of Single-Hadron Fragmentation TSSAs & New Theory Developments for Dihadron Fragmentation,” at the TMDs and Synergy with Lattice QCD workshop at the Center for Frontiers in Nuclear Science (Stony Brook, N.Y) in June 2023. His research is funded by an NSF grant.

Dr. Daniel Pitonyak gave a talk on his research, “QCD Global Analyses of Transverse Single-Spin Asymmetries: Single-Hadron and Dihadron Observables,” at the QCD Evolution conference in Orsay, France, on May 22, 2023. The work was funded by his recent National Science Foundation (NSF) grant.

Dr. Pitonyak presented an invited plenary talk, “Extracting the Proton’s Tensor Charge from QCD Phenomenology,” at the American Physical Society (APS) Group on Hadronic Physics Meeting /APS April Meeting: Quarks to Cosmos in April 2023. Brandon Bauer ’24 and Cody Shay ’24, two of his student researchers, also presented at the conference.



Dr. Daniel Pitonyak, Justin Cammarota ‘19, Josh Miller ‘21, Michel Malda ‘22, and collaborators from Penn State Berks, Jefferson Lab, and UCLA were the focus of a U.S. Department of Energy Science Highlight on April 28, 2023.

  • PHY 103: General College Physics I
  • PHY 104: General College Physics II
  • COE 220NS: The Physics of Time and Space
  • PHY 211: Atomic and Nuclear Physics
  • PHY 212: Electronics
  • PHY 311: Analytical Mechanics I
  • PHY 312: Analytical Mechanics II
  • Independent Studies on Computational Nuclear Physics Research