APS News

December 2008 (Volume 17, Number 11)

Apker Recipients Study Graphene, Quantum Information Theory

Sujit Datta

Sujit Datta

The LeRoy Apker Award is given for outstanding research accomplishments in physics by an undergraduate. Two categories are recognized, one for an undergraduate at an institution that grants the PhD, and the other for an undergraduate at an institution that does not grant the PhD. As reported in last month’s APS News, the selection committee first picks a number of finalists from each category, who then meet for a day of interviews with the committee before the recipients are chosen.

This year’s recipient in the PhD category is Sujit Datta of the University of Pennsylvania. Working in the lab of Alan (Charlie) Johnson, he conducted his senior thesis research on nanoscale physics, primarily the properties of graphene. He used scanning probe microscopy to show how the surface potential of few-layer graphene sheets depends on the number of layers. Datta is now pursuing his PhD as a graduate student at Harvard.

The recipient in the non-PhD category is Byron Drury of Haverford College. His senior-year research, conducted under the supervision of Peter Love, was in the area of quantum information theory. He used
Byron Drury

Byron Drury

elegant Lie Algebraic techniques to factorize general n-qubit operations into a product of elementary unitary operators that act on only one or two qubits. Drury was awarded a Churchill Scholarship, with which he is spending a year at Cambridge University before pursuing his PhD at MIT.

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Editor: Alan Chodos
Staff Writer: Ernie Tretkoff
Contributing Editor: Jennifer Ouellette
Science Writing Intern: Nadia Ramlagan

December 2008 (Volume 17, Number 11)

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Articles in this Issue
Pittsburgh Steels Itself for Physics Invasion
Apker Recipients Study Graphene, Quantum Information Theory
Sigma Pi Sigma Congress Convenes at Fermilab
April Meeting Plenary Speakers Set
SESAME Now Officially Open
Obama Energy Policy on View at Forum
Journals Aim to Improve Access for the Blind
DNP Holds 2008 Annual Meeting in Oakland, California
Fluid Dynamicists Hear About Oil Spills, Wind on Jupiter, and More
Meeting Briefs
Letters
The Back Page
Members in the Media
Profiles In Versatility
Zero Gravity: The Lighter Side of Science
This Month in Physics History
Washington Dispatch
International News