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April 2021 (Volume 30, Number 4)
By David Voss
At the APS Annual Leadership Meeting in February, nine students and early career scientists were invited to present rapid-fire three-minute talks on their research. Each of the speakers was a recipient of one of the over 20 student and early career awards given by APS every year. This first Physics Slam was organized and moderated by 2018 APS President Roger Falcone (University of California, Berkeley), who was also chair of the APS Apker Award selection committee.
Michelle DiBenedetto (University of Washington) received the 2020 Andreas Acrivos Dissertation Award in Fluid Dynamics and discussed her work on studying the transport of microplastics in the ocean as a function of the particles' sizes and shapes.
Eleni Katifori (University of Pennsylvania) received the 2021 Early Career Award for Soft Matter Research. She presented her work on modeling living transport networks, such as vascular systems, so that the lessons learned can be applied to other structures such as information networks.
Jaroslav Trnka (University of California, Davis) received the 2021 Henry Primakoff Award for Early-Career Particle Physics. He presented his recent work on a new geometric framework for understanding particle scattering in quantum field theory called the Amplituhedron.
Jeremy England (Georgia Institute of Technology) received the 2021 Irwin Oppenheim Award. In his talk, he discussed three kinds of self-organization in "life-like" systems such simple robot groups or spin glasses: self-replication, novelty detection, and many-body dynamical coordination.
Bryan Boudouris (Purdue University) was awarded the 2021 John H. Dillon medal. Boudouris described a new kind of macromolecule called a radical polymer which provides the opportunity to design new kinds of amorphous organic electronic devices.
Nicholas Poniatowski (University of Maryland, College Park) was recipient of a 2020 Leroy Apker Award. He presented results of experiments on the resistivity of an electron-doped cuprate that suggest that the high temperature metallic phase behaves like a low density metal.
Elise Koskelo (University of Cambridge) was recipient of a 2020 Leroy Apker Award. Koskelo described how measurement noise in a thermoreflectance imaging system can be used to maximize resolution through the phenomenon of stochastic resonance.
Yuan Shi (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) received the 2020 Marshall N. Rosenbluth Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award. Shi described how quantum computers operating at cryogenic temperatures could be used to study the behavior of stellar plasmas millions of degrees hotter.
Scott Baalrud (University of Michigan) received the 2020 Thomas H. Stix Award for Outstanding Early Career Contributions to Plasma Physics. He presented a new kinetic theory to understand a state of matter intermediate between plasma and condensed matter.
The entire Physics Slam session can be viewed on the Annual Leadership Meeting website. For more information, go to the APS honors page.
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Editor: David Voss
Staff Science Writer: Leah Poffenberger
Contributing Correspondents: Sophia Chen, Alaina G. Levine