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. This year’s recipient in the PhD category is Matthew Becker of the University of Michigan. Working under Timothy McKay, he conducted his senior thesis research on the dynamics of galaxy clusters in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. He is currently a graduate student at the University of Chicago, pursuing his PhD in astrophysics and cosmology.
The recipient in the non-PhD category is Bryce Gadway of Colgate University. In his senior-year research, conducted under the supervision of Kiko Galvez, he created an ensemble of single photons entangled in their polarization and direction of momentum, and used them to test theories of nature based on non-contextual realism. The experimental results ruled out realism or non-contextuality, or both. Gadway is now a graduate student at Stony Brook University, pursuing a PhD in physics.