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Ann Nelson 1958-2019

Theoretical physicist and APS Fellow dies at 61.

August 21, 2019 | Leah Poffenberger

Ann Nelson, a theoretical particle physicist at the University of Washington died on August 4 while hiking in the Cascade Mountains. She was 61. Nelson is remembered for her work in particle physics, and her efforts to promote diversity and end harassment in physics.

Nelson became an APS Fellow in 1998. She was also awarded the APS J. J. Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics in 2018 together with Michael Dine (University of California, Santa Cruz) to recognize outstanding achievement in particle theory. The citation reads

"For groundbreaking explorations of physics beyond the standard model of particle physics, including their seminal joint work on dynamical super-symmetry breaking, and for their innovative contributions to a broad range of topics, including new models of electroweak symmetry breaking, baryogenesis, and solutions to the strong charge parity problem."

In an article posted on the Physics Today website, David B. Kaplan, Nelson’s husband, and former mentors, colleagues, and students of Nelson have shared their remembrances of her as both a physicist and a champion for others.

Ann Nelson

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