APS News

In Brief

Burton Richter to Retire
After 14 years as head of the Stanford Linear Accelerator, former APS president Burton Richter will end his stint on August 31, 1999 about the same time as his latest accomplishment, the Asymmetric B Factory, begins operating. Richter received his PhD in particle physics in 1956 from MIT and accepted a postdoctoral appointment at Stanford University. He joined the staff of SLAC in 1963, becoming its director in 1984. His research in experimental particle physics has included pioneering work in colliding beam technology, and he shared the 1976 Nobel Prize with Sam Ting for discovery of the J-Psi particle. In addition to the APS presidency in 1994, Richter has served as a Councilor for the Division of Particles and Fields, and on the APS Publications Committee, as well as on the advisory committees of numerous national and European laboratories.

Shirley Jackson to Become President of RPI
Shirley Ann Jackson, a fellow of the APS, has been named the 18th president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, effective July 1, 1999. She becomes the first African-American woman to lead one of the nation's top technological universities. Jackson is currently chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). A native of Washington, DC, she earned her PhD in theoretical elementary particle physics from MIT in 1973 - the first African-American woman to receive a doctorate from MIT in any subject. Following postdoctoral research at Fermilab and SLAC, among others, Jackson conducted research in theoretical physics, solid-state and quantum physics, and optical physics at AT&T Bell Laboratories until 1991. That year she joined the faculty of Rutgers University, serving concurrently as a consultant in semiconductor theory to Bell Labs until assuming the chairmanship of the NRC. An APS Fellow, Jackson was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1998.

Two APS Members Receive National Medal of Science
In December, President Clinton named two APS members among the nine 1998 recipients of the National Medal of Science, the nation's highest science honor. John N. Bahcall, a professor of natural sciences at Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study and APS Fellow, was recognized for his pioneering efforts in neutrino astrophysics and his contributions to the development and planning of the Hubble Space Telescope. APS member George M. Whitesides, a professor of chemistry at Harvard University, was recognized for his innovative and far-ranging research in chemistry, biology, biochemistry and materials science that has resulted in breakthroughs to transition metal chemistry, heterogeneous reactions, organic surface chemistry, and enzyme-mediated synthesis.

Three Fellows Receive E.O. Lawrence Awards
Three APS Fellows were among six recipients of DOE's E.O. Lawrence Awards in January by Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson. Each recipient will receive a gold medal, a citation and $15,000. The award is given for outstanding contributions in the field of atomic energy, which today has influenced many fields of science such as environmental research, materials science and nuclear medicine that were in their infancy in 1960 when the first Lawrence Award was given.

Laura Greene (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) was honored in the materials research category for her pioneering experiments that clarify the behavior of electrons at the surfaces of low and high-temperature superconductors.

Steven Koonin (Caltech) was honored in the physics category for his broad impact on nuclear and many-body physics. Particularly noteworthy are Koonin's new supercomputer calculations that greatly extend our ability to predict the properties of atomic nuclei on Earth and in the stars.

Ahmed Zewail (CalTech) was honored in the chemistry category for discovering new ways to view molecular reactions using extremely short pulses of laser light.

APS encourages the redistribution of the materials included in this newspaper provided that attribution to the source is noted and the materials are not truncated or changed.

Editor: Barrett H. Ripin
Associate Editor: Jennifer Ouellette