Spring 2018 American Physical Society Prizes and Awards Announced

COLLEGE PARK, MD, October 23, 2017 – The American Physical Society (APS) has announced the Society’s Spring 2018 prize and award winners, and the 2017 Apker Award, Nicholson Medal, and Sakharov Prize recipients. With few exceptions, APS prizes and awards are open to all members of the scientific community in the U.S. and abroad. These honors are highly regarded, and represent critical recognition from the recipients' most discerning audience, their peers.

"APS prize and awards committees ponder the nominations of scores of outstanding nominees across the spectrum of physics disciplines. It’s always a tough choice to pick the top contender for any one of the APS honors," said APS President Laura Greene. "This year, as in the past, the honorees are among the world’s most accomplished, promising and respected scientists and leaders. Please join me in congratulating them for their recognition, and thanking them for their service to science and to society."

The new honorees are:

David Adler Lectureship Award in the Field of Materials Physics
to be announced

Will Allis Prize for the Study of Ionized Gases
Leanne Pitchford, CNRS & Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier, “for the development and application of methods to accurately compute rate coefficients and charged particle transport coefficients, and their application to predictive modeling of low-temperature plasmas.”

LeRoy Apker Award (2017)
Angela F. Harper, Wake Forest University, “for significant contributions to printed electronics research and outstanding leadership of the Society of Physics Students and Society of Women in STEM fields.”

Calvin Leung, Harvey Mudd College, “for development and experimental implementation of astronomical random number generators for loophole-free tests of Bell’s inequality and other applications in quantum fundamentals, astrophysics, and tests of general relativity.”

Distinguished Lectureship on the Applications of Physics
Robert Leonard Kleinberg, Schlumberger Limited, “for the invention of geophysical instrumentation, and its pioneering use in field studies of subsurface and marine geology.”

Hans A. Bethe Prize
Keith Alison Olive, University of Minnesota, “for outstanding contributions across a broad spectrum of fields including nuclear physics, particle physics, theoretical and observational astrophysics, and cosmology, especially Big Bang nucleosynthesis and the properties of dark matter.”

Tom W. Bonner Prize in Nuclear Physics
Bradley M. Sherrill, National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, “for his scientific leadership in the development and utilization of instruments and techniques for discovery and exploration of exotic nuclei, and for his community leadership in elucidating the physics of rare isotope beams and advancing the realization of the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams facility.”

Edward A. Bouchet Award
Miguel José Yacamán, University of Texas at San Antonio, “for far-ranging, high-impact contributions to nanoscale science using electron microscopy, and for his mentorship and promotion of Latinos in physics, ranging from undergraduates to faculty.”

Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Prize
Paul Michael Chaikin, New York University, “for pioneering contributions that opened new directions in the field of soft condensed matter physics through innovative studies of colloids, polymers, and packing.”

Joseph A. Burton Forum Award
Neil F. Johnson, University of Miami, “for his important contributions using physics to broaden scientific and public understanding of asymmetric conflict, terrorism, and instabilities in sociotechnical systems.”

Davisson-Germer Prize in Atomic or Surface Physics
John E. Thomas, North Carolina State University, “for his seminal contributions to the study of unitary Fermi gases, from their experimental realization to measurements of their collective mode dynamics, universal thermodynamic relations, and quantum transport coefficients.”

Max Delbrück Prize in Biological Physics
William S. Bialek, Princeton University, “for the application of general theoretical principles of physics and information theory to help understand and predict how biological systems function across a variety of scales, from molecules and cells, to brains and animal collectives.”

John H. Dillon Medal
Bradley D. Olsen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “for significantly expanding our understanding of the physics of polymers, including the self-assembly of block copolymers incorporating a fully folded protein, the influence of polymer shape on diffusion; for engineering novel gels; and for updating the theory of the modulus of a network.”

Excellence in Physics Education Award
The PhET Interactive Simulations Team, “for the systematic development, dissemination, and evaluation of the physics education tool, PhET Interactive Simulations project, used world-wide by millions of students and their teachers.”

Wendy K. Adams, Colorado School of Mines
Michael Dubson, University of Colorado Boulder
Emily B. Moore, University of Colorado Boulder
Ariel Paul, University of Colorado Boulder
Kathy Perkins, University of Colorado Boulder
Sam Reid, University of Colorado Boulder
Carl Wieman, Stanford University

Prize for a Faculty Member for Research in an Undergraduate Institution
Warren F. Rogers, Indiana Wesleyan University, “for his essential contribution to the exploration of atomic nuclei beyond the neutron drip line and his conception and continued leadership of the Conference Experience for Undergraduate program.”

Herman Feshbach Prize in Theoretical Nuclear Physics
Edward Shuryak, Stony Brook University, “for his pioneering contributions to the understanding of strongly interacting matter under extreme conditions, and for establishing the foundations of the theory of quark-gluon plasma and its hydrodynamical behavior.”

Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics
Barry Simon, Caltech/IBM Professor of Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Emeritus, “for his fundamental contributions to the mathematical physics of quantum mechanics, quantum field theory, and statistical mechanics, including spectral theory, phase transitions, and geometric phases, and his many books and monographs that have deeply influenced generations of researchers.”

Frank Isakson Prize for Optical Effects in Solids
Andrea Cavalleri, Max Planck Institute
Keith A. Nelson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“for pioneering contributions to the development and application of ultra-fast optical spectroscopy to condensed matter systems, and providing insight into lattice dynamics, structural phase transitions, and the non-equilibrium control of solids.”

Joseph F. Keithley Award For Advances in Measurement Science
Andreas J. Heinrich, Center for Quantum Nanoscience (QNS) at Ewha Womans University
Wilson Ho, University of California - Irvine
Joseph A. Stroscio, National Institute of Standards and Technology
“for the design and construction of a series of highly sophisticated scanning probe instruments, including the development of inelastic electron tunneling spectroscopy at the single atom and single spin limit, that provided many breakthroughs in the science of measurement.”

Rolf Landauer and Charles H. Bennett Award in Quantum Computing
Aram W. Harrow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “for outstanding accomplishments in the mathematics of quantum information, and the development of new algorithmic primitives for quantum computers.”

Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize
Naomi J. Halas, Rice University, “for her pioneering research at the intersection of optics and nanoscience, and groundbreaking applications of those findings in the field of plasmonics, and for her exceptional impact communicating the excitement of scientific discoveries and their vital role in improving people’s lives.”

Maria Goeppert Mayer Award
M. Lisa Manning, Syracuse University, “for her use of computational and analytical tools to develop microscopic understanding of flow in disordered materials, ranging from metallic glasses to biological tissues.”

James C. McGroddy Prize for New Materials
to be announced

Dwight Nicholson Medal for Outreach (2017)
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Hayden Planetarium – American Museum of Natural History, “for his wide-ranging and awe-inspiring contributions to the public understanding of science, and for his passionate and effective advocacy of the values of critical scientific thinking in a democratic society.”

Lars Onsager Prize
Subir Sachdev, Harvard University, “for his seminal contributions to the theory of quantum phase transitions, quantum magnetism, and fractionalized spin liquids, and for his leadership in the physics community.”

Abraham Pais Prize for History of Physics
Peter Galison, Harvard University, “for outstanding contributions to the history of physics, especially for elucidating the complicated roles of experiment, instrumentation, and theory in the production of scientific knowledge, and for sharing his insights via award-winning scholarship, generous mentoring, and innovative filmmaking.”

George E. Pake Prize
Richard Boudreault, Polar Knowledge Canada, “for outstanding research accomplishments in electronics, photonics, and advanced materials during his distinguished senior-level career in management and administration of scientific corporations and government institutions over a period of 40 years.”

W.K.H. Panofsky Prize in Experimental Particle Physics
Lawrence R. Sulak, Boston University, “for novel contributions to detection techniques, including pioneering developments for massive water Cherenkov detectors that led to major advances in nucleon decay and neutrino oscillation physics.”

Earle K. Plyler Prize for Molecular Spectroscopy & Dynamics
David M. Jonas, University of Colorado, “for the demonstration and development of femtosecond two-dimensional Fourier transform spectroscopy and its use in studying fast processes.”

Polymer Physics Prize
Juan J. de Pablo, University of Chicago, “for his innovative models and algorithms for the simulation of macromolecular systems.”

Henry Primakoff Award for Early-Career Particle Physics
Eric Dahl, Northwestern University/Fermilab, “for fundamental contributions to the development of new techniques for the direct detection of dark matter, including the bubble chamber and xenon time projection chamber.”

Aneesur Rahman Prize for Computational Physics
Hans Herrmann, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), “for the groundbreaking contributions in developing novel computational methods in complex systems, fracture mechanics, and granular media.”

Norman F. Ramsey Prize in Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, and in Precision Tests of Fundamental Laws and Symmetries
Peter Zoller, Universität Innsbruck, “for his pioneering theoretical work on quantum computation, communication, and simulation with trapped ions, atoms, and molecules.”

Jonathan F. Reichert and Barbara Wolff-Reichert Award
Kurt Wick, University of Minnesota, “for over two decades of educational innovation and teaching excellence in the advanced laboratory sequence at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities; for cultivating students’ interest and expertise in modern experimental methods and research through laboratory education and independent projects; and for consistently supporting the advanced laboratory community in the adoption of modern experimental methods in the curriculum.”

Andrei Sakharov Prize (2017)
Ravi Kuchimanchi, Association for India's Development, “for his continued research in physics while simultaneously advocating for global policies that reflect science; for leading sustainable development, human rights, and social justice efforts; and for creating a vibrant international volunteer movement that learns from, works with, and empowers communities in India.”

Narges Mohammadi, Physicist, Engineer, Human Rights Defender, Prisoner of Conscience (Evin Prison, Tehran), “for her leadership in campaigning for peace, justice, and the abolition of the death penalty and for her unwavering efforts to promote the human rights and freedoms of the Iranian people, despite persecution that has forced her to suspend her scientific pursuits and endure lengthy incarceration.”

J. J. Sakurai Prize
Michael Dine, University of California, Santa Cruz
Ann Nelson, University of Washington
“for groundbreaking explorations of physics beyond the standard model of particle physics, including their seminal joint work on dynamical super-symmetry breaking, and for their innovative contributions to a broad range of topics, including new models of electroweak symmetry breaking, baryogenesis, and solutions to the strong charge parity problem.”

Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science
Gérard Albert Mourou, Laboratoire d'Optique Appliquee at the ENSTA/École Polytechnique, “for fundamental contributions in ultrafast, ultrahigh-field laser inventions, such as chirped pulse amplification, that led to the new discipline of relativistic optics.”

Leo Szilard Lectureship Award
Edwin Stuart Lyman, Union of Concerned Scientists, “for using his technical expertise and tireless advocacy to maintain and strengthen U.S. policy on nuclear nonproliferation and reactor safety and security.”

Robert R. Wilson Prize for Achievement in the Physics of Particle Accelerators
Alexander Wu Chao, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, “for insightful, fundamental and broad-ranging contributions to accelerator physics, including polarization, beam-beam effects, nonlinear dynamics, and collective instabilities, for tireless community leadership and for inspiring and educating generations of accelerator physicists.”

For more information on the recipients, please see the individual APS Honors pages at:

Contact: James Riordon, APS, riordon@aps.org, (301) 209-3238

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The American Physical Society is a non-profit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy, and international activities. APS represents over 53,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories, and industry in the United States and throughout the world. Society offices are located in College Park, MD (Headquarters), Ridge, NY, and Washington, D.C.