Accolades for SUNY physicists
Accolades for SUNY physicists
Five State University of New York professors have been recognized for exceptional contributions to the physics enterprise by the American Physical Society (APS), one of the world’s most prominent organizations focused on diffusing the knowledge of physics.
APS fellowship is a distinct honor signifying recognition by one’s professional peers for exceptional contributions through research, applications of physics, leadership, service and education.
- Alexander G. Abanov, Stony Brook University professor of physics, has a passion for physics education and teaches physics and math at all levels from high school to graduate students. The APS nominated him within the Division of Condensed Matter Physics and cited his election as an APS fellow “For pioneering contributions to electronic condensed matter physics using topological and hydrodynamic methods.” Professor Abanov works in theoretical condensed matter physics. He specializes in strongly interacting electron systems, such as quantum hall systems. In these systems the collective behavior of electrons is essentially determined by quantum effects. Dr. Abanov’s research is characterized by the use of methods of quantum field theory and hydrodynamics in condensed matter theory.
- Axel Drees, Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Stony Brook, is one of the lead scientists in the PHENIX experiment at Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC). Nominated by the Division of Nuclear Physics, the APS cited his election “For having a leading role in the discovery of the suppression of high momentum hadrons and jet quenching in heavy ion collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, and his key contributions to the discovery that hadron properties are modified near the transition to the quark-gluon plasma through the measurement of electron-positron pairs.” Through their contributions to the discovery of jet quenching and other work, Drees and his team helped to demonstrate that quark-gluon plasma is created in collisions of gold atoms at RHIC.
- Stephen Padalino, Distinguished Professor of Physics, has a long history of being a devoted student mentor and scientist at SUNY Geneseo. Padalino was nominated in the Forum for Education for “...outstanding leadership in physics undergraduate education connecting classroom learning with funded research opportunities and inspiring over 200 students to pursue careers in science.” Over the course of 31 years, his dedication and contributions have helped bring national acclaim to the physics department. Ranked according to the most recent data from the period 2012-2014, SUNY Geneseo is first among the 500 colleges in the nation with bachelor’s-only physics departments for producing the largest number of students graduating with a physics degree.
- Igor Zutic, University at Buffalo professor of physics, has been named a fellow of the APS for “pioneering contributions to the theory of spin-dependent transport, magnetism in semiconductor nanostructures, and novel spintronic devices.” The recognition is an acknowledgement of Zutic’s work to advance the field of spintronics, which involves using a characteristic of an electron called “spin” to develop new technologies and gadgets. A theoretical physicist, Zutic focuses on developing the framework for physicists to predict and describe phenomenon related to spin. He has also proposed new spin-based devices — ranging from spin lasers and spin transistors to fault-tolerant quantum computers — that would leverage magnetism to perform tasks that would be inefficient or impossible with conventional electronics.
The $10,000 prize recognizes and encourages outstanding achievement in particle theory.
- Sally Dawson is a theoretical physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory and an adjunct professor at Stony Brook University's Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics. The award recognizes Dawson and her three co-authors of The Higgs Hunter's Guide, a seminal book first published in 1989 on the physics of Higgs bosons—fundamental particles predicted by the accepted theory of particle physics as essential to generating the mass of fundamental particles. Dawson is best known for developing mathematical models to explain and predict the processes by which Higgs particles are produced. These precise theoretical calculations helped to guide searches for evidence of the Higgs at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), located at the European Centre for Nuclear Research. The LHC's 2012 discovery of the Higgs contributed to the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics, which was awarded to the theoretical physicists who predicted the particle's existence nearly fifty years earlier.
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