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Lyman Page received his BA in physics from Bowdoin College in 1978. After wintering over at a cosmic ray lab in the Antarctic, rebuilding and sailing an old 37' wooden ketch for two and a half years, and then working as a carpenter in Boston, he began graduate school at MIT in 1983. He received his Ph.D. in 1989. After a year as a joint MIT/Princeton postdoc, he was an instructor at Princeton for a year, then joined the Princeton faculty, received tenure in 1995 and is currently the Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor and Chair of the Department. He is also on the associated faculty of the Department of Astrophysical Sciences.
Page's research is on the measurement and analysis of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). He has had a leading role on more than half a dozen separate experiments to map the CMB anisotropy and polarization from a time before COBE/DMR's discovery of the anisotropy in 1992 to the present day. Page was one of the founding members of the WMAP satellite, a partnership between NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and Princeton, and took over as the Princeton PI from Wilkinson. Page was the founding director of the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) project. ACT is an international collaboration of roughly 70 scientists at 20 institutes with major hubs of activity in Canada, Chile, the UK, South Africa, and the US. Our group built a 6m mm-wave telescope along with the related infrastructure at a 5200m altitude site in northern Chile and have been collecting data for six years. With data from these measurements and others, we now have a standard model of cosmology. Current research focuses include measuring the sum of neutrino masses cosmologically and the search for primordial gravitational waves. There is still a wealth of beautiful astrophysics waiting to be done with the CMB.
Page is an APS Fellow, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has delivered a number of named lectures. He has received the Marc Aaronson Memorial Lectureship award, the Shaw Prize, the Gruber Prize (with the WMAP team), and three Princeton teaching awards.In addition to reviewing papers (including a term on the JCAP editorial board) and proposals for different journals and agencies, Page is on the board of trustees of Associated Universities Incorporated (AUI) and an adviser for the Cosmology & Gravity program of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIfAR).
It is an honor to be considered for Vice President and would be an honor to represent physics through the APS. Physics is as alive as ever. New and beautiful properties of condensed matter avail themselves almost with regularity while in atomic physics, condensed-matter-like systems of atoms are being assembled; the LHC is entering a new phase; we are on the verge of a laboratory observation of gravitational waves; through a series of efforts we are unveiling the properties of neutrinos; and we are learning about the properties of fundamental particles through detailed observations of the cosmos. And these are but just a handful of examples.
Mixed in with the excitement are significant challenges. The public and the legislature need to be kept aware of how vital physics is to our country's intellectual identity and to how deeply rooted our prosperity and security are in the curiosity and experimentation of our scientific forebears. The non-scientific public also needs to be aware of the power that understanding new things in Nature has for inspiring the next generation.
Deeply connected to the core of what we do is how we convey it. The credibility of physics is rooted in the verifiability of experiments and ideas combined with a high bar for acceptance of a new result, and a minimal number of incorrect results.This conservatism is at apparent odds with the twitterverse and similar modes of communication but it need not be. Relatedly, new formats for data, the sheer volume of data, the ability to archive on the century or longer time scale, and the high cost of scientific journals call for a regular reassessment of what it means to "publish."The arXiv has been revolutionary, but it is likely just a start. I look forward to working with colleagues to navigate these waters.
My own path through physics has not been the usual one, and I am well aware that there are many paths and many ways to be a physicist. Out of curiosity about the low numbers of minorities in our field, I went to a joint NSBP/NSHP conference in 2009. I learned in more detail than I had read of the significant challenges facing underrepresented minorities with interests in physics. This led to proposals to the APS to start a Bridge Program. Although they were not successful, the follow-up conversations were. We were in the end fortunate to receive internal funding at Princeton to start a program that also includes Astrophysics.
I have learned about different perspectives on the challenges and hurdles for doing physics on the home front as well. My wife is a biophysicist, one son is in graduate school in physics, and another is a physics/computer science major.
I have had the amazing good fortune of being part of the revolution in cosmology, and through that have had the opportunity of working in small and now mid-sized international collaborations. These experiences along with those of managing multimillion yet tight budgets and participating on the board of a scientific NGO seem to mesh well with APS's new governance structure. I look forward to working with colleagues at the APS and the broader physics community to represent and promote physics.