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Laytonsville Man Honored for Distinguished Science Writing

John R.D. Copley, today received the Edward Uhler Condon Award from the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Copley is a physicist in the NIST Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory. The Condon Award recognizes distinguished achievement in scientific or technical exposition.

He is being recognized for a special NIST report, Neutron Powder Diffraction, and for the Proceedings of the Workshop on Cold Neutrons in Contemporary Research. In his report on neutron powder diffraction, Copley explained a complex technical subject for graduate students and other non-experts. He presented the topic in a simple, elegant form that enhanced comprehension without condescension.

Copley is an expert on studies of condensed matter using neutron scattering. In the early 1990s, he used neutron scattering to study Buckminsterfullerene, an unusual round molecule made of 60 carbon atoms first discovered in 1985. His studies yielded some of the most useful information in understanding the solid structure of Buckminsterfullerene.

As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Technology Administration, NIST strengthens the U.S. economy and improves the quality of life by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards through four partnerships: the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the Measurement and Standards Laboratories, the Advanced Technology Program, and the Baldrige National Quality Program.

Released December 1, 1999, Updated January 25, 2023