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Herman Winick is a Professor (research) emeritus at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the Applied Physics Department of Stanford University, where he has been since 1973. After receiving his AB (1953) and PhD (1957) in physics from Columbia University, he continued work in experimental high energy physics at the University of Rochester (1957-9) and then as a member of the scientific staff and Assistant Director of the Cambridge Electron Accelerator at Harvard University (1959-73). In the early 1960s his interests shifted to accelerator physics and then to synchrotron radiation. In 1973 he moved to Stanford University to take charge of the technical design of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Project. Since then he has played a leadership role in the development of synchrotron radiation sources and research at Stanford and around the world. He has served as a reviewer, and chaired review and advisory committees for projects in Armenia, Australia, China, Germany, India, Japan, Jordan, Russia, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand and the US.
His work on radiation sources, particularly wiggler and undulator magnets, has been recognized by awards from the DOE and the US Particle Accelerator School, Fellowship in the APS and AAAS, a Humboldt Senior Scientist Award and a Fellowship at the University of Tokyo. In 1992 he was instrumental in initiating the world's first hard x-ray laser, the Linac Coherent Light Source, which began operation at SLAC in 2009. In 1997 he proposed the SESAME project (www.sesame.org.jo). He continues to play a role in SESAME, which is now constructing a synchrotron radiation research facility in the Middle East, modeled on CERN and under the umbrella of UNESCO, to be shared by Israeli and Palestinian scientists as well as scientists from seven other counties in the Middle East.
He has a strong interest in human rights and in international scientific collaboration. His human rights activities include chairing the APS Committee on International Freedom of Scientists (CIFS) in 1992. In 2005 he was elected Vice Chair of the APS Forum on International Physics. His efforts to promote human rights for scientists have been recognized by the Heinz R. Pagels Award from the New York Academy of Sciences in 2005 and the Andrei Sakharov Prize from the American Physical Society in 2010.