Deborah Jin Award for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Research in Atomic, Molecular, or Optical Physics

This award recognizes doctoral thesis research of outstanding quality and achievement in atomic, molecular, or optical physics and encourages effective written and oral presentation of research results. The annual award is presented to one individual and consists of a $2,500 stipend and a certificate.

Finalists are invited to present their research at the annual DAMOP Meeting. All finalists will be reimbursed up to $1,000 for travel expenses.

Rules and eligibility

  • Doctoral students who have passed their thesis defense for the Ph.D. in the disciplines of atomic, molecular, or optical physics during the two calendar years prior to the award year are eligible. For example, a person who passed their Ph.D. thesis defense in either 2018 or 2019 is eligible for the 2020 award.
  • A student who has won a thesis prize in another APS unit is not eligible for an award.
  • The student's thesis advisor nominates the student, and must be a member of the APS and DAMOP.
  • A person, other than a member of the committee making the selection, may submit one nomination or seconding letter in any given year.
  • A student may be a finalist in this competition only once.
  • Eligible non-finalists may be renominated. Nominations from the previous year do not rollover. Nominators should submit a new nomination in a subsequent year, although the nomination package can contain the same material.

Process and selection

The nomination package consists of the following materials:

  1. APS Prizes and Awards nomination form (nominee’s contact information, thesis defense date and suggested citation).
  2. Nominator information form (nominator’s name, affiliation and contact information).
  3. A nomination letter from the thesis advisor citing the specific contributions of the nominee and the significance of those contributions. The thesis advisor must be a member of the APS and DAMOP prior to submitting a nomination.
  4. A letter from the department chair certifying the Ph.D. defense date. The defense date must occur in the two calendar years prior to the calendar year of the DAMOP meeting.
  5. At least two, but no more than four letters of support seconding the nomination.
  6. A manuscript prepared by the nominee describing the thesis research; the manuscript may not exceed 1,500 words (excluding figures and references).
  7. An abstract prepared by the nominee that is suitable for publication in the DAMOP Bulletin; the abstract may not exceed 1,300 characters. The name of the thesis supervisor and the graduate institution indicated in a footnote.
  8. A copy of the candidate's curriculum vitae.
  9. Demographics form (if known/wish to specify age, gender, race, and ethnicity of the nominee)

Selection Committee

  • David Weld (Chair)
  • Darrick Chang
  • Andrew Ludlow
  • Mackillo Kira
  • Ehud Altman

Establishment and support

This award was established in 1992 by the Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (DAMOP) as the Award for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Research in Atomic, Molecular, or Optical Physics, with support from members and friends of DAMOP. In 2015, the award was endowed by M Squared Lasers. DAMOP launched a supplemental campaign in 2016 to recognize Deborah Jin’s contributions to physics by establishing the Deborah Jin Memorial Endowment. Upon achieving and exceeding the goal through the generosity of Deborah Jin’s colleagues, family, and friends, DAMOP renamed the award in her honor. The income from this endowment will supplement travel for finalists and provide new funding to enable students to attend the annual DAMOP Meeting, with an emphasis on enhancing the diversity of student attendees.

Recent recipients

Aziza Suleymanzade

2023 recipient

For the development of a high efficiency, low noise mmwave photon to optical photon quantum transducer based upon Rydberg atoms in a first-of-its-kind seamless mmwave resonator.

Harry Levine

2022 recipient

For ground-breaking contributions to the realization of programmable quantum simulators and quantum information processing based on Rydberg atom arrays.

Loïc Anderegg

2021 recipient

For pioneering work in laser cooling and the creation of an optical tweeter array of ultracold molecules.

Christie Chiu

2020 recipient

For thesis topic, "For exploring the Fermi-Hubbard model with ultracold atoms."

Ivan Kozyryev

2019 recipient

For pioneering experimental work on using laser radiation to control and cool the motion of polyatomic molecules.

See all recipients

The membership of APS is diverse and global, and the nominees and recipients of APS Honors should reflect that diversity so that all are recognized for their impact on our community. Nominations of members belonging to groups traditionally underrepresented in physics, such as women, LGBT+ scientists, scientists who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), disabled scientists, scientists from institutions with limited resources, and scientists from outside the United States, are especially encouraged.

Nominees for and holders of APS Honors (prizes, awards, and fellowship) and official leadership positions are expected to meet standards of professional conduct and integrity as described in the APS Ethics Guidelines. Violations of these standards may disqualify people from consideration or lead to revocation of honors or removal from office.

Deborah Jin Award for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Research in Atomic, Molecular, or Optical Physics

Nominations deadline
January 15, 2024

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