APS News

Apker Finalists Meet in Washington

Gray arrow  Previous Apker Winners Featured
In this issue we present a feature article by Richard M. Todaro about the 33 previous Apker Award recipients—where they are, what they're doing, and how they got there.

Front row (l to r): Christopher Lee, Heather Lynch, Edina Sarajlic. Back row (l to r): Jacob Krich, Andrei Bernevig, Steven Oliver. (Photo by: Ken Cole/APS)
Front row (l to r): Christopher Lee, Heather Lynch, Edina Sarajlic. Back row (l to r): Jacob Krich, Andrei Bernevig, Steven Oliver. (Photo by: Ken Cole/APS)

On September 16, the six finalists in the Apker Award competition met in Washington to present their work in person to the selection committee. The Apker Award is given annually by the APS for physics research done by an undergraduate. The award was first given in 1978, and in recent years has been divided into two categories, depending on whether the institution has a PhD granting program or not.

Each finalist receives a plaque and a check for $2,000. The winners of the award, who will receive an additional $5,000 each, are selected by the committee from among the finalists, and will be announced in the next issue of APS News.

This year the three finalists and their research topics from the non-PhD-granting institutions were: Jacob Krich from Swarthmore College, "Correlation Length and Chirality of Isotropic Short-range Order in Nematic and Chiral-Nematic Liquid Crystals;" Christopher Lee from Reed College, "Supersymmetric Quantum Mechanics;" and Edina Sarajlic from Bryn Mawr, "State Selective Quantum Beat Spectroscopy by using Time-resolved Two-color Resonant Four-Wave Mixing."

In the PhD-granting category, the finalists were: Bogdan Andrei Bernevig from Stanford, "Spectroscopy of Matter Near Criticality:" Heather Lynch from Princeton, "A Kondo Box: Coulomb Blockade and the Kondo Effect in Iron-doped Copper Nanoparticles:" and Steven Oliver of the University of California at Berkeley, "3D Raman Sideband Cooling at High Density."

The selection committee was chaired by Andrew Sessler, the past-past-president of APS. Also serving on the committee were Harry Lustig, former treasurer of the APS who is retiring from the committee after 16 consecutive years, Rick Greene of Maryland, Michael Brown of Swarthmore, Stephen Ralph of Georgia Tech, Larry Marschall of Gettysburg, Alan Chodos of the APS, and Jerome Friedman of MIT, who will chair the committee next year when he succeeds to the past-past-presidency.


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Editor: Alan Chodos
Associate Editor: Jennifer Ouellette