APS News

William Brinkman Elected APS Vice President

Members of the APS have elected William F. Brinkman, physical sciences research vice president at Bell Laboratories/Lucent Technologies, to be the Society's next vice president. Brinkman's term begins January 1, 2000, when he will succeed George Trilling (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), who will advance to become president-elect. Brinkman will become APS president in 2002. The 2000 president is James Langer (University of California, Santa Barbara). [Look for our annual interview with the incoming APS president in the January 2000 APS News.]

In other election results, Curtis C. Callan of Princeton University was elected chair-elect of the APS Nominating Committee, which will be chaired by Michael S. Turner of the University of Chicago and Fermilab in 2000. The Nominating Committee selects the slate of candidates for vice president, general councillors, and its own chair-elect. The nomination committee choices are then voted on by the APS membership. Elected as new general councillors were Stuart Freedman (University of California, Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), Margaret Murnane (University of Colorado), Philip Phillips (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), and Jin-Joo Song (Oklahoma State University).


Bell Laboratories/Lucent Technologies
Brinkman received his PhD in physics from the University of Missouri in 1965. He joined Bell Laboratories in 1966 after spending one year as an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at Oxford University. He moved to Sandia in 1984, but returned to Bell Laboratories in 1987 to become Executive Director of the Physics Research Division. In 1993, he became Physical Sciences Research Vice President, his current position. His responsibilities include the direction of research in physical sciences, optoelectronic and electronic devices, fiber optics and related areas.

He has worked on theories of condensed matter and his early work also involved the theory of spin fluctuations in metals and other highly correlated Fermi liquids. Subsequent theoretical work on liquid crystals and incommensurate systems are additional important contributions he made to the theoretical understanding of condensed matter. As manager of an industrial research organization with a budget of $200M, he is strongly interested in improving technology conversion and improving the connection between research and products. Brinkman was the recipient of the 1994 George E. Pake Prize.

In his candidate's statement, Brinkman spoke of the growing diversity of the physics community and the need for the Society to continue to embrace new groups with topical interests that range from applications in computing and communications to medicine. As electronic publishing moves into the mainstream, the APS must find a way to recover the charges paid by libraries for paper versions of its journals, perhaps, says Brinkman, through institutional flat fees. He also spoke of the need for the APS to continue to be involved in public affairs that relate to the concerns of its members as physicists. "High on this list must be the health of our physics research enterprise. We must work to make physics attractive to students and to create interesting career paths for them," wrote Brinkman. "Among other things, this requires working toward ensuring the necessary funds for our research."


Princeton University
Callan is Professor of Physics and Chairman of the Physics Department at Princeton University. He works in theoretical elementary particle physics and his research has covered a wide range of topics, including the phenomenology of K-meson decays, the role of the renormalization group in QCD and the use of string theory to explain black hole entropy. He received his PhD from Princeton in 1964, and then held an assistant professorship in the Harvard Physics Department and a long-term membership at the Institute for Advanced Study. In 1972, he returned to Princeton as Professor of Physics and has remained there ever since. Apart from his teaching and research, he has been active for many years in advising U.S. government agencies on the applications of science and technology to national security problems.

In his candidate's statement, Callan discussed the enormous changes both in the intellectual content of the science itself, and in the societal and funding context in which it lives, and the challenges these present to the APS and the physics community in general. "Finding people with the necessary qualities of intellect, energy and judgement to lead the APS, and convincing them to stand for office, is more critical today than it ever has been," he wrote. "The future health of our Society is dependent on the judgement and activism of today's Nominating Committee."


Oklahoma State University
Born in Seoul, Korea, Song received her PhD in experimental solid-state physics and quantum electronics from Yale University in 1974. She worked at MIT as a post-doctoral research associate, and later was on the faculty of the University of Southern California. In 1987, Song moved to Oklahoma State University where she now holds the positions of Regents Professor of Physics and Noble Professor of Photonics, as well as the Director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Laser and Photonics Research. Song was recently elected the 21st and first woman president of the Association of Korean Physicists in America. Her present research interests include nanotechnology and ultrafast phenomena, especially widegap semiconductor quantum structures, epitaxial growth, characterization, and device fabrication.

In her candidate's statement, Song cited the growing internationalization of the Society, and the continual advancement of information technology that is accelerating the development of professional exchanges to a level previously inconceivable, and prompting a reassessment of the role of the APS in fostering this growing international character. In Song's view, one of the biggest challenges the APS faces is that of making physics and physicists more relevant to society while preserving the pursuit of the most fundamental understanding of the nature of the physical universe. "I believe the APS should embrace diversification and multidisciplinary approaches in physics education with courage and conviction, for such evolution does not necessarily lead to the de-emphasizing of fundamental research in the traditional subfields known to academia, but is instead vital to the survival of physicists and physics education," she wrote. "In fact, I believe that the physics community will begin to realize that diversification is at the very root of fundamental research, and that the study of physics could not have progressed to today's levels of understanding without such diversification in the past."

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Born in Scarborough, Tobago, Phillips received his PhD from the University of Washington in 1982. After two years at the University of California at Berkeley, he served on the faculty in the chemistry department at MIT until 1993, when he moved to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research is in theoretical condensed matter physics with a special emphasis on explaining experimental observations that challenge the standard paradigms of transport and magnetism in disordered and correlated electron systems. While he has worked on numerous problems such as the size and disorder dependence of the Kondo effect, bi-criticality in quantum spin glasses, and pair-tunneling in quantum dots, much of his recent efforts have been devoted to explaining the origin of the new conducting phase found in a dilute 2D electron gas.

In his candidate's statement, Phillips cited three areas he believes merits particular attention by the APS, its officers and elected representatives, because of their potential for concrete action. These include the need for diversity in the physics community; the education of students to the notion that a physics major opens more doors than it closes; and a need for efficient lobbying to increase the level of research funding for condensed matter physics, particularly theory.

University of Colorado
Murnane joined JILA and the Department of Physics at the University of Colorado in August of 1999. Prof. Murnane received her BS and MS degrees from University College Cork, Ireland, and her PhD degree in physics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1989. She remained at Berkeley for one year as a postdoctoral fellow, before joining the faculty of physics at Washington State University in 1990. In 1996, Professor Murnane moved to the University of Michigan. Prof. Murnane's research interests have been in ultrafast optical science. In particular, her work has made it possible to generate visible and x-ray pulses of a few cycles in duration, using extreme nonlinear optical interactions. She is a past recipient of the APS Simon Ramo Award.

In her candidate's statement, Murnane looked to the 21st Century and the many opportunities for physicists to impact the science and technology of the new millenium, including advances in nanoscale structures, laser manipulation of matter, and computational. She suggested the APS promote meetings in rapidly changing fields, by providing more opportunities for multi-disciplinary meetings, by advertising new discoveries and their impact on society as much as possible, and by supporting increased participation of industry to broaden career-choices for students. She also supports continuing the Society's efforts to articulate the breadth and diversity of physics, and to communicate the beauty, excitement, and impact of physics to the general public.

University of California at Berkeley
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Argonne National Laboratory
Freedman is an experimental physicist working in areas of nuclear and particle physics. He has held a joint appointment in the Berkeley Physics Department and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Nuclear Science Division since 1991. His research focuses on problems related to the fundamental weak interaction, symmetry breaking, neutrino mass, and particle searches. Freedman received his PhD in 1972 from Berkeley for his experimental test of Bell's inequality with a two-photon cascade in atomic calcium. He was instructor and lecturer working in nuclear physics at Princeton University until 1976 when he left to become assistant professor at Stanford University. He joined the Argonne Physics Division in 1982, and the University of Chicago in 1987, jointly with Argonne, returning to Berkeley in 1991.

In his candidate's statement, Freedman spoke of how the role of physics in the high-tech world of the next millennium, its relationship to society, and the character of basic research are changing dramatically. He cited two challenges in particular facing the APS: public education and outreach, and globalization. "A scientifically illiterate society is totally inappropriate for the 21st century, and the APS should strengthen its resolve for effectively advocating a sensible scientific component in the education for every young American," Freedman wrote. Similarly, "Communication technologies and the emerging global economy provide us with the opportunity of creating a truly international community of scientists and scientific research, and we should take a leading role toward insuring that physics continues to develop as an international enterprise."

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Editor: Barrett H. Ripin
Associate Editor: Jennifer Ouellette