On Thursday, March 28, Deborah Jin will be honored in a ceremony at the Sorbonne in Paris as the '2013 L'Oréal-UNESCO Awards Laureate for North America', as part of the L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science program. One of five 2013 regional laureates, she was cited for being the first scientist in the world to create near absolute zero temperature potassium-rubidium (KRb) molecules that allow her, and colleagues, to slow chemical reactions down in order to see what goes on during molecular processes.
Dr. Jin explained to L'Oréal-UNESCO:
“Finding ways to use new knowledge coming from this field could potentially transform society. The study of ultra-cold molecules could lead to new precision-measurement tools, new methods for quantum computing and help us better understand materials that are essential to technology.”
Since its founding in 1998, the L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science program has honored 77 Award Laureates and more than 1,652 Fellows -- women working across the spectrum of research.
For more background, please see Deborah Jin Wins L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Award (October 19, 2012, JILA Scientific Communications).
Steve Cundiff will receive a Silver Medal from the U. S. Department of Commerce for his leadership of JILA’s X-Wing project at an award ceremony to be held in Washington, D. C. on January 8, 2013. He is also being honored for this achievement during the 40th annual NIST Awards Ceremony at NIST in Gaithersburg, Maryland on December 5, 2012.
JILA is the joint research institute between NIST and the University of Colorado, Boulder. For 50 years, JILA has been a world leader in measurement science research and education of scientists who have become leaders in metrology, innovation, education, and national policy. Before Cundiff was able to secure support for the new building, JILA’s aging facilities were increasingly unable to provide the control of vibration, temperature, humidity, and air cleanliness required for a world-class research and measurement science.
The existing JILA facilities also were filled to overflowing, barely able to accommodate the existing experiments and people, with no room for growth. And while the success of JILA research and teaching relies on close collaborations among people from diverse scientific backgrounds, the old facilities didn’t encourage the informal collaborations and “productive collisions” that spark new ideas.
Today, Cundiff is being recognized “for his initiative and sustained leadership in envisioning and then seeing through to completion of … the JILA X-Wing Laboratory, a $35 M advanced research and teaching laboratory. This unique facility will benefit the nation through mission-critical advances in measurement science,” according to the citation for the Silver Medal. Thanks to Cundiff’s leadership in a team of NIST, CU, and private sector partners, the JILA X-Wing provides world-class research and teaching lab facilities, provides room for JILA to grow, and is a model for space that encourages collaboration and interaction.
After learning he had won the Silver Medal, Cundiff recapped the 12-year history of efforts to get more space for JILA. The idea for a new JILA building was first raised by Jim Faller in 2000, but failed to get traction. Five years later, after Cundiff had become Chief of NIST’s Quantum Physics Division (QPD), he ran the idea by NIST Director Bill Jeffrey. Jeffrey was sufficiently receptive to the idea that Cundiff returned to JILA to ask the Fellows if they wanted to pursue the idea. A majority favored the new building.
Then the real work began. The vision, funding, design, and construction of the X-Wing required a collaboration among NIST scientists and senior NIST management; CU faculty and senior leadership; NIST and CU facilities management and staff; Congressional and Administration funders; architects, engineers, and construction contractors.
“Dr. Cundiff was crucial to the success of this complex partnership, leading the team to overcome many barriers, including potential problems with funding as the U. S. economy soured, the need for major design changes required by CU architectural standards, the need to coordinate with other CU organizations as the X-Wing was constructed in a very tight space immediately surrounded by other CU departments, and the need to coordinate CU, NIST, and private sector partners all operating under different constraints,” wrote current QPD Chief Tom O’Brian in his nomination letter for the medal.
All this planning came to fruition in May of 2010 with ground breaking for the X-Wing. During construction Cundiff and JILA staffer Doug Johnson worked tirelessly to keep things on track for building occupancy in early 2012.
“During the construction, Steve was conscious of my research needs,” says Jun Ye. “I run a complex lab where we push the frontiers of measurement science. Steve worked to make sure my research was left mostly intact.
“When I mentioned a problem to Steve during the construction, he took care of it. I’m grateful for that. Otherwise, I would have been out of business for a year and a half while the new building was under construction.”
In addition to building new labs and protecting old ones, Cundiff succeeded in opening up the entire new wing to daylighting via a large skylight and wide central staircase enclosed by half walls of glass. Even the basement receives daylighting from this arrangement for about three weeks a year around the summer solstice.
“The wide staircase makes it possible for our new collaborative spaces to span multiple floors,” says Cundiff. “JILA scientists, visitors, postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduate students stop and interact with each other on a regular basis.”
The building provides more than the opportunity for creative collaborations, however. It is technically the most complicated building ever built on the CU campus. The advanced lab support systems and the new, larger clean room are the best money can buy. So far the advanced systems in the labs are working as designed.
“My new lab is ten times less dusty than my old lab,” Ye said. The temperature is more stable. It’s cleaner and quieter, with less vibration noise.” The improvements in the new cold-molecule research lab mean that JILA is set to become the world center for research on ultracold molecules. Cundiff is proud the new X-Wing is supporting this exciting development.
Asked how he felt about winning a Silver Medal for his efforts, Cundiff turned reflective for a moment. “I realized I learned a lot doing this project from the very beginning, but I’ll never use it. I’ll never do it again.” Since the completion of the building, Cundiff’s full attention is once more on his research into the nature of light and its interactions with semiconductors and other materials.
At JILA, we’re glad Steve Cundiff took a side trip into the world of high-tech building construction. We think he earned that medal.
Eric Cornell has won the Ioannes Marcus Marci Medal for molecular spectroscopy from the Ioannes Markus Marci Spectroscopic Society of the Czech Republic. The award recognizes Cornell's work (in collaboration with Jun Ye) in the search for the electric dipole moment of the electron.
Fellow Cindy Regal, recent JILA grad Matthew Squires (Anderson group, Ph.D. 2008), former postdoc Wen Li (Kapteyn/Murnane group), and JILA grad Ian Coddington (Cornell group, Ph. D. 2004) have received prestigeous Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, according to a White House press release issued July 23. Each award is for $1 million over 5 years.
Regal was honored for her "discovery of pairing and condensation in a Fermi gas of atoms and broad contributions to the realization of laser-cooled nano-mechanical resonators.” She was also cited for her service as a mentor and role model for women in physics and for her numerous guest lectures to both domestic and international audiences. Her award was funded by the Department of Defense.
Li's and Squires' awards were also funded by the Department of Defense. Li is assistant professor of chemistry at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He uses ultrafast lasers to investigate the motion of nuclei and electrons during chemical reactions. Squires is a member of the Air Force Research Laboratory, Department of the Air Force and works at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Coddington, a physicist in NIST's Quantum Electronics and Photonics Division, was cited for developing spectroscopic measurement tools based on optical fibers and frequency combs. These tools enable accurate detection of airborne chemicals and long distance measurements with nanometer precision. He was also feted for his contributions to early child development and science enrichment programs.
Award recipients are employed or funded by the following departments and agencies: Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of the Interior, Department of Veteran Affairs, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation.
The departments and agencies join together annually to nominate the most meritorious scientists and engineers whose early accomplishments show the greatest promise for assuring America’s preeminence in science and engineering and contributing to the awarding agencies’ missions.
The awards, established by President Clinton in 1996, are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education or community outreach.
Fellow Ana Maria Rey is Woman Physicist of the Month for June.
Rey is theorist working on many complicated problems in Atomic, Molecular, and Optical (AMO) Physics. She is well known for her collaborations at JILA with experimentalists Deborah Jin and Jun Ye as well as theorist Murray Holland, CU theorists Victor Guarie and Michael Hermele, and physicists at institutions in the United States and abroad.
Dr. Rey joined JILA and the University of Colorado Physics Department at Boulder in 2008. For more information on her accomplishments, please visit the APS Woman Physicist of the Month website.
President Barack Obama will appoint Dr. Margaret Murnane for Chairman, President's Committee on the National Medal of Science, according to a White House press release on December 21, 2011. Murnane is a Fellow of JILA and a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Colorado. She is also a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2006 and the National Academy of Sciences in 2004. In recognition of her work, she has been awarded the 2011 Royal Dublin Society Irish Times Boyle Medal for Scientific Excellence, the 2010 R.W. Wood Prize of the Optical Society of America, the 2010 Schawlow Prize of the American Physical Society, the 2009 Ahmed Zewail Award of the American Chemical Society, and a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship in 2000. She was first appointed to the President's Committee on the National Medal of Science in 2010. Murnane received her B.S and M.S. from University College Cork, Ireland, and her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.
Fellow Margaret Murnane has been awarded the prestigious RDS Irish Times Boyle Medal for her pioneering work in the field of ultrafast laser and x-ray science. Murnane, who is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Colorado, co-leads a research laboratory with her husband Henry Kapteyn at JILA. Murnane has spent more than 20 years pushing the development of lasers that can operate at the fundamental limits of speed and stability. In the early 1990s, she designed the first femtosecond laser. Recently, she developed a tabletop x-ray laser that can generate coherent beams of x-rays. The x-ray laser is a major advance over the light bulb-like x-ray devices currently used in science, medicine, and security.
The Boyle Medal is named after Robert Boyle who is considered to be the "father of chemistry." The Medal is Ireland's premier science award and is awarded biennially by the Royal Dublin Society and The Irish Times. This year's award celebrates the work of an Irish researcher working outside of Ireland and carries with it a cash prize of 20,000 Euros. Murnane, who is the second woman to win the Medal, was born in Limerick, Ireland, and is a graduate of University College Cork, where she earned B.Sc and M. Sc degrees in physics.
Associate JILA Fellow Cindy Regal has been awarded a prestigious David and Lucille Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering. Regal, who is also assistant professor of physics at the University of Colorado, will receive $875,000 over five years to support her work in experimental atomic physics. She is currently developing laser-based techniques for controlling single neutral atoms and exploring the creation of tiny quantum gases whose atoms can be individually manipulated. Both techniques are expected to be useful in quantum information science and in modeling the fundamental physics of complex materials such as liquids and solids. The new fellowship will provide resources for attacking challenging problems like these.
The David and Lucille Packard Foundation establisheded the science and engineering fellowship "to allow the nation's most promising professors to pursue science and engineering research early in their careers with few funding restrictions and limited paperwork requirements." Regal plans to enjoy the flexibility that comes with the new grant. She is one of 16 fellows selected this year from 100 applicants from 50 universities.
Fellows Debbie Jin and Jun Ye will share a Department of Commerce Gold Medal this year for their seminal work on ultracold molecules and cold chemistry. The Gold Medal is the highest award presented by the Department of Commerce and NIST. The Gold Medal will be presented to Jin and Ye at a ceremony in December in Washington, D. C.
"It is the dedication of employees like Debbie and Jun that makes NIST what it is today," said Pat Gallagher, Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. "Congratulations and best wishes for continued success."
The U.S. Senate confirmed JILA Fellow Carl Lineberger on August 2 as a member of the National Science Board. He was nominated for the position by President Barack Obama in April. As a member of the National Science Board, Lineberger's duties will include helping to establish the policies of the National Science Foundation. The National Science Board also serves as an advisory board to the president and Congress on issues involving science and engineering.
"Colorado is home to some of the best and the brightest in the country, supporting and inspiring top-notch scientific work across Colorado and the country," U.S. Sen. Mark Udall said in a statement. "Carl has contributed decades of pioneering research to the fields of physics and chemistry."
Lineberger is the E.U. Condon Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at CU-Boulder. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He currently serves on the Report Review Committee of the National Research Council and the NRC Decadal Survey on Biological and Physical Sciences in Space. His former graduate students and postdoctoral associates hold major research-related positions throughout the world.
Lineberger has chaired the National Science Foundation Advisory Committees on Mathematical and Physical Sciences, and Science and Technology Centers, the U.S. Department of Energy's Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee, and the NAS/NRC Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics and Applications. He recently completed service on the National Academy of Sciences Council, the NAS/NRC Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy and the NRC Governing Board.
"It is truly an honor for us when our nation's leadership taps the knowledge and expertise of CU-Boulder faculty to serve our country and society," said CU-Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano. "Distinguished Professor Lineberger is the third faculty member in three years to receive a prestigious White House appointment, which underscores our national reach in scientific research and public policy."
Last September, CU-Boulder Distinguished Professor and JILA Fellow Carl Wieman was confirmed as associate director for science in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy .
For more information about the members of the National Science Board visit www.nsf.gov/nsb/members/.
Arman Cingoz and Brian Neyenhuis won awards for work presented at a recent Boulder Laboratories Postdoctoral Poster Symposium. The symposium was held June 22, 2011, from 1:00 to 5:00 pm in the main lobby of the Radio Building at the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Boulder campus.
Participants gave brief oral slide presentations describing the key points of their poster presentations. The poster session followed the talks and continued for the remainder of the event.
During the event, Cingoz and Neyenhuis were recognized for their outstanding poster presentations. Cingoz, who is a postdoc in Jun Ye's lab, won the award for a poster entitled "Power Scaling of Extreme UV Frequency Combs Beyond the 10 mW Level." Neyenhius, who is a graduate student with Jun Ye and Debbie Jin, was recognized for his poster entitled "Light-matter interactions of ultracold polar KRb molecules."
Cindy Regal has been awarded an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator grant. Regal's proposal was one of 21 selected from a pool of 270 applications. She will receive approximately $170,000 in annual research grants for three years. Her winning proposal was entitled "Cavity Optomechanics for Wavelength Conversion of Optical Quantum States."
The Young Investigator Program is an important part of the Department of the Navy's science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) outreach programs.
Fellow Jun Ye has been elected as a Director at Large for the Optical Society of America (OSA). He will begin his three-year term on January 1, 2012.
"OSA is pleased to welcome Jun to the Board," said Elizabeth Rogan, OSA's chief executive officer. OSA members include more than 130,000 professionals from 175 countries. OSA brings together the global optics community through its programs and initiatives.
"Optics has been an integral part of my professional life since my undergraduate days," Ye said. "My first scientific publication was in optics. The first professional society I joined was OSA, and my first invited talk was given at an OSA meeting.
"It is a great honor to be selected as an OSA Director at Large. This position will give me more and better opportunities to volunteer and serve the optics community."
Jun Ye received his Ph. D. from the University of Colorado in 1997 and was appointed a Fellow of JILA in 2001. Today his research group explores the frontiers of light-matter interactions. He has coauthored more than 200 technical papers and presented more than 300 invited talks.
On May 3, the National Academy of Sciences announced the selection of Jun Ye as one of 72 new members and 18 foreign associates. Ye is a Fellow of JILA and a Fellow of NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He is also an adjoint professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Ye and his scientific colleagues were recognized for their distinguished and ongoing achievements in original research. The new additions bring the total number of active members to 2,113 and the total number of foreign associates to 418. Foreign associates are nonvoting members of the Academy, with citizenship outside the United States.
Chris Greene has been named a College Professor of Distinction at the University of Colorado at Boulder (UCB). Greene received news of the honor on Tuesday April 19 from Todd Gleeson, Dean of UCB's College of Arts & Sciences. The title of College Progessor of Distinction is bestowed on scholars and artists of national and international renown who are also viewed by their colleagues as exceptionally talented teachers and researchers. Greene and other new Professors of Distinction will be honored at an event this fall that will be hosted by the College of Arts & Sciences.
JILA Fellow Steven Cundiff has received the Optical Society of America’s 2011 William F. Meggers Award. The award recognizes outstanding work in the study and measurement of the interactions between light and matter (spectroscopy). The award cited Cundiff’s contributions to the field of ultrafast spectroscopy of semiconductors, including multidimensional Fourier transform techniques, and to the development of femtosecond frequency comb technology.
William F. Meggers worked at the National Bureau of Standards (now NIST) from 1914 to 1958. Many consider Meggers to be the founder of the field of spectroscopy in the United States.
On April 7, 2011, the White House announced that President Obama intends to nominate JILA Fellow W. Carl Lineberger to the National Science Board, National Science Foundation, one of the nation's most important science policy organizations. The board sets policy for the National Science Foundation and serves as a key advisory organization to the President and Congress on science, engineering, and education. Lineberger’s nomination will take place soon. He will then be considered for confirmation by the U. S. Senate.
"Dr. Lineberger's willingness to take on this challenge is a great opportunity for science in the United States," said Thomas O'Brian, chief of the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST's) Quantum Physics Division. "In addition to Lineberger’s remarkable scientific career, he has a long and highly effective history of leading and serving on national science policy organizations."
Lineberger is the E.U. Condon Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of Colorado at Boulder (UCB) and a Fellow of JILA, a joint institute of UCB and NIST. He is a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He serves on the Report Review Committee of the National Research Council (NRC), and the NRC Decadal Survey on Biological and Physical Sciences in Space. In the past, Dr. Lineberger has chaired the National Science Foundation Advisory Committees on Mathematical and Physical Sciences, and Science and Technology Centers, the DOE Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee, and the NAS/NRC Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications. He recently completed service on the National Academy of Sciences Council, the NAS/NRC Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, and the NRC Governing Board. Dr. Lineberger earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
The Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics program at the University of Colorado, Boulder tied for first place with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the U.S. News & World Report's 2012 edition of "Best Graduate Schools." Other high-ranking CU graduate schools are listed in the Boulder Daily Camera.
Jun Ye has been selected as the 2011 Frew Fellow by the Australian Academy of Science. Ye will present the Frew Lecture at the Australasian Conference on Optics, Lasers, and Spectroscopy (ACOLS), which is incorporated in the International Electronic Conference/CLEO Pacific Rim 2011 meeting to be held in Sydney, Australia, from August 29 to September 1, 2011. In addition to presenting the Frew lecture on a topic of his choice, Ye will visit universities and research institutions in different Australian cities.
The Frew Fellowship is made possible by a gift to the Australian Academy of Science from Geoffrey Frew, who founded Australia's first major atomic absorption company, Techtron. The company is now Varian-Techtron.
A nice profile of Eric Cornell appeared in the December 2010 issue of Physics World. Read it here.
Cindy Regal has been awarded the University of Colorado’s (CU's) first-ever Clare Boothe Luce Professorship Award. The $645,000 award is designed to “encourage women to enter, study, graduate, and teach in science, mathematics, and engineering.” The professorship award will fund Regal’s teaching and research for the next five years.
Regal arrived at CU in January 2010, just in time to teach the junior electronics lab and put the finishing touches on her new lab in JILA. There she plans to engineer and explore new quantum systems using her knowledge of cold atoms and nanomechanical oscillators, both of which she sees as potential "quantum resources." Her graduate students are currently developing a system for single neutral-atom trapping and investigating materials and tension dependence for unique nanostrings.
Regal did her graduate work at JILA with Fellow Debbie Jin, where she was able to get a cloud of fermions to stay cold enough for long enough to dance together and form a condensate. Next, she did a postdoc with Fellow Konrad Lehnert, where she investigated techniques for cooling nanomechanical oscillators with microwaves, a process similar to laser cooling. In a second postdoc at Caltech in Jeff Kimball's lab, Regal explored both laser cooling of nanomechanical oscillators along with quantum optics and quantum information processing with cold atoms.
Margaret Murnane is a Fellow of JILA and a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Physics and of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Colorado.She runs a multi-disciplinary research group using coherent beams of laser and x-ray light to capture the fastest dynamics in molecules and materials at the nanoscale. Dr. Murnane is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was awarded a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship in 2000, the 2009 Ahmed Zewail Award of the American Chemical Society, the 2010 Schawlow Prize of the American Physical Society and the 2010 R.W. Wood Prize of the Optical Society of America. She received her B.S and M.S. degrees from University College Cork, Ireland, and her Ph.D. degree from the University of California at Berkeley.
Henry Kapteyn and Margaret Murnane won the R. W. Wood Prize of the Optical Society of America. The prize is given for an outstanding discovery, scientific or technological achievement, or invention in the field of optics. Kapteyn and Murnane were recognized for their advances in the science and technology of high harmonics generation, with particular relevance to subfemtosecond pulse generation and attosecond-scale physics.
"OSA's Awards and Honors program is designed to identify and recognize excellence in the field of optics and photonics," said James C. Wyant, president of OSA. "This year's recipients have made contributions in diverse areas of optics -- from quantum information to LCD technology and beyond. OSA is honored to acknowledge these leaders for their distinguished accomplishments."
Henry Kapteyn and Margaret Murnane won the 2010 Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science for their pioneering work in the area of the ultrafast laser science,including development of ultrafast optical and coherent soft x-ray sources. The prize consists of $10,000, plus an allowance for travel to the meeting at which the prize is awarded. Kapteyn and Murnane also received a certificate citing their contributions to basic research that uses lasers to advance our knowledge of the fundamental properties of materials and their interaction with light.