APS News

Named Lectureships Enhance March and April Meetings

Several named lectureships are bringing distinguished speakers to the APS March and April meetings this year.

The Henry Primakoff Lecture will be given at the 2007 April Meeting by John Wilkerson of the University of Washington.  The Lectureship was established in 1997 by the APS Council and by colleagues of the late Henry Primakoff to honor his contributions to physics.  Wilkerson will speak about double beta decay, which had been a topic of particular interest to Primakoff, who was the author, together with the late Peter Rosen, of a classic paper on the subject [ Rep. Prog. Phys. 22, 121 (1959)]. Said Wilkerson, “The Primakoff and Rosen paper is one of the seminal early papers on double beta-decay, which I recall first reading as a postdoc just starting to learn about weak interaction physics. With the recent evidence that neutrinos have mass, Primakoff’s work in this area has renewed relevance and makes for a fitting and timely lecture topic.”

In addition, two named APS lectureships are bringing four distinguished foreign scientists to speak at the March and April meetings. The Beller Lectureship was endowed by Esther Hoffman Beller for the purpose of bringing distinguished physicists from abroad as invited speakers at APS meetings. The Marshak Lectureship, endowed by Ruth Marshak in honor of her late husband and former APS president, Robert Marshak, provides travel support for physicists from a developing country or from Eastern Europe invited to speak at APS meetings.

For 2007, two Beller Lectures were given at the March Meeting. Eliezer Rabinovici of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, spoke on “SESAME, A Scientific Collaboration In The Middle East: Personal and Israeli Perspectives.” Rabinovici was nominated by the Forums on International Physics (FIP) and Physics and Society (FPS). Jian-Wei Pan of Heidelberg University in Germany spoke on Applications of Quantum Teleportation. Pan was nominated by the Topical Group on Quantum Information, Concepts and Computation (GQI).

A Beller Lecture will be given at the April Meeting by Rudolf Grimm of the University of Innsbruck. Grimm was nominated by the Topical Group on Few-Body Systems and Multiparticle Dynamics (GFB). His talk is titled “Evidence for Efimov quantum states in an ultracold gas of cesium atoms.”

The 2007 Marshak Lecture will be given at the April Meeting by Alberto Santoro of Brazil. He will speak on “Closing the Digital Divide in Latin America.” Santoro was nominated by the Forum on International Physics.

Until last year, the Beller and Marshak Lectureships had been awarded occasionally. They are now annual events, administered by the Committee on International Scientific Affairs (CISA.) Each year, CISA invites the APS Divisions, Topical Groups, and Forums to submit nominations of candidates for the lectureships. 

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Editor: Alan Chodos
Contributing Editor: Jennifer Ouellette
Staff Writer: Ernie Tretkoff