APS News

In Brief

The 1996 Aneesur Rahman Prize has been awarded to Steven Gwon Sheng Louie, a professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley. His citation reads, "For innovative applications of quantum theory and computational physics to predict the properties of condensed matter systems, especially the excitation spectra of semiconductors and insulators." Louie received his Ph.D. in physics from UC-Berkeley in 1976. He was a research scientist with IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center and AT&T Bell Laboratories, before accepting a faculty appointment at the University of Pennsylvania. He joined the Berkeley faculty in 1980. Louie's research interests include the electronic and structural properties of crystals, surfaces, interfaces, clusters, and materials under pressure, and on quasiparticle excitations in solids, and electron correlation effects in bulk and reduced dimensional systems. The Aneesur Rahman Prize was established in 1992 to recognize and encourage outstanding achievement in computational physics research. It is sponsored by the IBM Corporation.

Dr. Javier Solana, a solid state physicist, has been appointed Secretary-General of NATO. Solana received his Ph.D. in physics at the Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain, and is a former Fulbright Scholar. A professor of solid state physics at Madrid Complutense University, he is the author of over 30 publications in his field, and is a member of the Spanish Chapter of the Club of Rome.

In November 1995, the U.S. Civilian Research & Development Foundation (CRDF) for the Independent States of the Former Soviet Union (FSU) announced a cooperative grants program intended to address the issue of dramatically reduced resources for scientific and engineering research in that region. It is also intended to address defense-conversion issues in scientific and technical expertise to improve economic conditions, and promote effective cooperation between scientists of different countries. The CRDF has received 3,100 proposals to date in all aspects of science and engineering, about 28 percent of which are in physics. APS Vice President Andrew Sessler chaired the physics review panel, which reviewed some 800 proposals, twice the number anticipated. Finalists were forwarded to the full review panel in May.

The National Research Council's Board on Physics and Astronomy is undertaking a series of reassessments of all the branches of physics as the foundation for a new physics survey. The survey will provide a broad picture of physics as a whole, identify issues that are common to its various subfields, and show the relationships among the different fields of physics and between physics and other areas of science. As part of this effort, the Board's Solid State Sciences Committee (SSSC) is planning a study of condensed matter and materials physics to assess scientific progress in that field and the impact of recent advances and developments. To give the community a means to exchange ideas and provide input to the SSSC and the Committee on Condensed-Matter and Materials Physics (CCMMP), an open forum for electronic discussion has been set up on the World Wide Web. It can be accessed through the CCMMPs website at http://www.nas.edu/bpa/cmmp.html.

Chaired by Venkatesh Narayanamurti (UC, Santa Barbara), the study will include the following: an illustrative recounting of the major research accomplishments of the field over the last decade; an analysis of the impact of this research on technology; an evaluation of the infrastructure and research modes of the field today, including both large facilities and principal-investigator research, with recommendations for increased effectiveness; an examination of demographics and career issues; an analysis of the implications of the above on student training and employment, with an emphasis on the university/industry interface; and an assessment of the standing of the U.S. effort relative to that of other countries.

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Editor: Barrett H. Ripin