This Just In!
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Jin and Newton
Deborah Jin of PML and JILA has won the Isaac Newton Medal from the UK’s Institute of Physics – the most prestigious award from the UK’s premier physics professional organization. Jin was recognized for "pioneering the field of quantum-degenerate Fermi gases."
A Fermi condensate is “very different from the Bose Einstein condensate created by Debbie’s NIST/JILA colleagues in 1995, and leading to the 2001 Nobel Prize,” says Tom O’Brian, Chief of PML’s Time and Frequency and Quantum Physics Divisions. “Most physicists consider the Fermi condensate an even more challenging breakthrough than the BEC. Debbie and her colleagues are using the Fermi condensate as a powerful tool to study complex phenomena such as quantum magnetism that could lead to new, much more powerful forms of data storage and computation.”
Muhammad Arif, Leader of the Neutron Physics Group in the Radiation Physics Division, has been named a NIST Fellow.
This honor is granted to recognize scientific and technical staff members who operate at the highest level of achievement and impact in contributing to the NIST mission, are visionary scientific/technical leaders, provide high-quality programmatic input/advice to NIST management, mentor other NIST technical staff, and motivate and inspire other NIST staff.
Three NIST scientists were named as among the top 144 “World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds” in Physics over the past decade by Thomson Reuters, a company that provides scientific publication and analysis services among other products: Debbie Jin and Jun Ye of NIST and JILA, and Jeffrey Lynn of the NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR).
Thomson Reuters analyzed how many times papers written by scientists across the world were cited by other researchers in the period 2002 through 2012. Jin, Ye and Lynn were among the top 144 physicists across the entire world in terms of how frequently their published work was cited, reflecting the deep impact and influence of their NIST research and measurements.
Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker has announced the finalists for the Department of Commerce’s 2013 Presidential Rank Award, the most prestigious award given to senior executives and senior professionals. Debbie Jin of PML/JILA and Dave Wineland of the Time and Frequency Division were cited as distinguished finalists. Robert Celotta, Director of the NIST Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, and George Arnold, Director of NIST’s Standards Coordination Office, were named meritorious finalists.
The finalists’ “achievements, hard work, and dedication distinguish them as inspiring examples of professionalism in government,” Pritzker said in making the announcement.
Ana Maria Rey of NIST and JILA has been named the “Early Career Hispanic Scientist of the Year” by the Tampa Museum of Science and Industry, which has sponsored the “National Hispanic Scientist of the Year” awards for 14 years.
Rey is recognized as one of the top young theoretical physicists in the world, and her new theories have led directly to the world’s two best atomic clocks (at NIST and JILA), to new ways of using ultracold atomic gases to study superconductivity and quantum computing, and to the world’s first human-controlled chemical reactions based on ultracold atoms.
Carol Hockert, Chief of the NIST Office of Weights and Measures, received the 2014 National Conference of Standards Laboratories International (NCSLI) 2014 William A. Wildhack Award during the opening session of the NCSLI Workshop and Symposium in Orlando, FL. The award is given to recognize outstanding contributions to the field of metrology.
Hockert is nationally and internationally recognized as a leader in both the legal metrology community and in the NCSLI organization where she has held numerous positions including President in 2008.
No Longer Pending
NIST researchers have been granted U.S. Patent 8,816,296 for “Noble-gas-excimer detectors of slow neutrons.” The inventors are Charles Clark, Patrick Hughes, Alan Keith Thompson, and Rob Vest of PML’s Radiation Physics Division, and Michael Alan Coplan of the University of Maryland.
For information on this area of research, see the PML news report.
It’s not unusual for the work of PML researchers to get high visibility. But the summer of 2014 was particularly notable: Images supplied by NIST appeared on the covers of three different journals.
The cover photo for the July issue of Physics Today showed the new, fourth-generation NIST Watt Balance, presently under construction, that is expected to provide NIST and the nation with mass traceability after the planned redefinition of the SI units in 2018. The instrument is slated to begin realizing the "electronic kilogram" at some time during 2015. The cover picture is associated with an article on the planned redefinition written by physicist David Newell of NIST’s Quantum Measurement Division.
Also in July, a figure produced by PML scientists was chosen for display on the home page of the Physical Review B website in the journal’s “Kaleidoscope” collection of scientific images that are both arresting and informational. The associated paper, by investigators in the Quantum Electronics and Photonics Division, is titled “Tunable-cavity QED with phase qubits.”
Finally, the cover of the July-August edition of Synchrotron Radiation News features a photo of a transition-edge sensor detector array, developed by scientists in PML’s Quantum Electronics and Photonics Division and installed at the NIST-owned beamline U7A at the National Synchrotron Light Source. The associated paper by Joel Ullom and colleagues is titled “Transition-Edge Sensor Microcalorimeters for X-ray Beamline Science.”