William Bardeen


Candidate for Vice PresidentWilliam Bardeen

Biographical Summary
William Allan Bardeen received his A.B. degree from Cornell University in 1962 and his Ph.D. degree in physics from the University of Minnesota in 1968.  Following research appointments at the Institute for Theoretical Physics at Stony Brook and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, he was an Assistant and Associate Professor in the Physics Department at Stanford University.  In 1975, Bardeen joined the staff of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory where he has served as Head of the Theoretical Physics Department.

He has been a member of the Executive Committee of the Division of Particles and Fields of the American Physical Society and served on the Editorial Boards of The Physical Review and the Journal of Mathematical Physics.  Bardeen was elected Fellow of the American Physical Society in 1984.  He was inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1998 and elected a Member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1999.  In 2002 Bardeen was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Minnesota.  He has also served as a Member and Trustee of the Aspen Center for Physics.

Bardeen was awarded the 1996 J.J. Sakurai Prize of the American Physical Society for his work on anomalies and perturbative quantum chromodynamics. In 1985, he was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship for research on the application of quantum field theory to elementary particle physics. Previously, he had received the Senior Scientist Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship for research in theoretical physics.

Research Interests
Bardeen’s professional career began at the same time the Standard Model of particle physics was proposed in 1967.  His research involves the application of quantum field theory to problems in theoretical elementary particle physics.  Indeed, with the renormalization of the Standard Model, he was one of the first to apply the theory to practical problems including the higher-order weak corrections to the muon anomaly, g-2.  He is noted for developing systematic methods for perturbative calculations in quantum field theory with particular application to the phenomenology of quantum chromodynamics, the fundamental theory of the strong force.

Symmetries have played an essential role in developing our modern picture of particle physics.  The forces of the Standard Model are based on the local symmetries of nonabelian gauge fields.  The underlying quark structure of hadrons is inferred from the detailed analysis of their global symmetries.   Anomalies occur when symmetries clash at the quantum level.  Bardeen was the first to derive the complete structure of nonabelian anomalies in quantum field theory.  With Adler, he established nonrenormalization theorems that demonstrate the fundamental nature of quantum anomalies.  Anomalies and related phenomena have an enormous impact on our present understanding of the physics of the Standard Model and have implications that go far beyond particle physics.

Other research topics have included the phenomenology of axions, mechanisms of dynamical symmetry breaking, application of large N expansions to nonperturbative aspects of quantum field theory, weak matrix elements, the dynamical role of a heavy top quark, electroweak fixed points and effective field theories.  Through the efforts of the past forty years, the Standard Model has provided an extraordinarily successful description of elementary particle physics. However, we may now be on the verge of a new revolution in physics with the exploration of the TeV energy scale at Fermilab’s Tevatron Collider followed by the new Large Hadron Collider being constructed at CERN.

Candidate Statement
During my career physics has made extraordinary progress developing a new deeper understanding of the physical world.  Physicists and physical methods have made important contributions to the progress of research in physics, chemistry, biology and many other areas of scientific development.  The APS has grown in members and programs to reflect the new diversity of physics and its applications to the modern world.

The APS plays an essential role enabling avenues of communication supporting the professional activities of physicists, informing and advising government and developing the role of science in modern society.  The APS also plays an essential role advancing public understanding of science, educating teachers and engaging all students in the nature and wonder of science.  While the range and diversity of programs supported by the APS is truly remarkable, it must continue to develop new ideas and methods to confront the challenges faced by physicists now and in the future.

A number of studies have expressed deep concern on the relative decrease in the support for physics research as a fraction of GDP over the past twenty years.  This has especially affected areas of basic research where shortened horizons and limited funding have impacted research in both government and industry.  Globalization is also changing how science is done and how science is used by society providing both challenges and opportunities for the future. 

The APS has worked with the NAS and others to respond to these concerns and to develop new initiatives to insure the vitality of science and its future contributions to society.  These initiatives have already generated a new awareness by government and industry that is reflected in the United States by the American Competitiveness Initiative and other efforts to enhance the scientific future.  The APS must continue to play an important role in communicating the intrinsic value of science and scientific research.

The American Physical Society is a great institution and it is a profound honor to be nominated for the Presidential Line.

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