Press release

Myriam Sarachik Wins 2020 APS Medal for Exceptional Achievement in Research

August 09, 2019

The American Physical Society (APS) is pleased to announce that Myriam Sarachik, Distinguished Professor of Physics at City College of New York, will be awarded the 2020 APS Medal for Exceptional Achievement in Research. The medal recognizes contributions of the highest level that advance our knowledge and understanding of the physical universe in all its facets and is presented along with a $50,000 prize. Sarachik will receive the medal at a ceremony to be held January 30, 2020, in Washington D.C.

The 2020 medal citation honoring Sarachik reads: “For fundamental contributions to the physics of electronic transport in solids and molecular magnetism.”

“Myriam Sarachik has been one of the world’s leading experimental condensed matter physicists for over a half-century,” said APS President-Elect Philip Bucksbaum, Chair of the selection committee. “Her outstanding contributions helped to shape our modern view of many collective effects in solids, including the Kondo effect, heavy fermion physics, disordered 2-D systems, and strongly-correlated electron systems. I am very pleased that she will receive the APS Medal for Exceptional Achievement in Research. Not only is Myriam a past President of the Society; she is also well-known for her efforts to defend human rights and the principles of diversity and inclusion in physics.”

Sarachik earned her B.A. degree (cum laude) from Barnard College in 1954, and her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in 1957 and 1960 from Columbia University. Following research associate positions at IBM Watson Laboratories at Columbia University (1961-1962) and at Bell Laboratories (1962-1964), she joined the faculty of City College of the City University of New York as an Assistant Professor of Physics and was promoted through the ranks to Distinguished Professor in 1995.

In addition to her research, Sarachik has served as a member (and chair) of the Solid State Sciences Committee of the National Research Council, the Human Rights Committee of the New York Academy of Sciences, and the Board of the Committee of Concerned Scientists.

An experimentalist in low-temperature research, Sarachik has investigated superconductors, disordered metallic alloys, metal-insulator transitions in doped semiconductors, hopping transport in solids, strongly interacting electrons in two dimensions, and spin tunneling in nanomagnets.

She received the 1995 New York City Mayor's Award for Excellence in Science and Technology and a 2004 Sloan Public Service Award from the Fund for the City of New York. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree by Amherst College in 2006.

"I'm so pleased that Myriam has been selected for the APS Medal, which is our highest honor," said Kate Kirby, APS CEO. "Her research has been at the frontiers of condensed matter physics and her life of service to the physics community is an example for physicists everywhere."

The APS Medal for Exceptional Achievement in Research is the Society’s largest prize, recognizing the achievements of researchers from across all fields of physics. The medal is funded by a generous endowment from entrepreneur Jay Jones.


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