Prize Recipient

Recipient Picture

Bita Ghaffari
University of Michigan


"For development and study of the positron trapping mechanism in a class of Penning traps, that is expected to impact future positronium and anti-hydrogen research."


Dr Ghaffari majored as an undergraduate in Research Physics and in Mathematics at Eastern MichiganUniversity. She completed her Ph.D. in 1997 with Dr. Ralph Conti as her advisor. She built and optimized a positron accumulator, intended for a series of atomic physics experiments with positronium. The anomalous efficient accumulation observed in this cylindrical Penning trap prompted detailed simulation of the charged particle behavior, leading to the discovery of chaotic transport in such systems. This work provided a physical explanation for the source of this transport and may be used to better understand and improve the performance of other charged particle traps and magnetic beams.

Dr. Ghaffari received the University of Michigan Terwilliger award for best dissertation in physics and the outstanding dissertation award at the 1997 International Conference on Positron Annihilation. She is working on further study of the nuances and possible application of this transport at Rice University.