Center News

Eric Cornell wins Ioannes Marcus Marci Medal for molecular spectroscopy
Published: 09-06-2012

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.

Cindy Regal, Matt Squires, Wen Li, and Ian Coddington Win Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers
Published: 07-24-2012

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.

Ana Maria Rey selected as APS Woman Physicist of the Month
Published: 06-06-2012

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.

Margaret Murnane appointed chairman of President's Committee on the National Medal of Science
Published: 01-03-2012

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.

Margaret Murnane Wins Boyle Medal
Published: 10-27-2011

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.

Cindy Regal Wins David and Lucille Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering
Published: 10-18-2011

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.

Debbie Jin, Jun Ye Win Department of Commerce Gold Medal
Published: 08-17-2011

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."

Senate Confirms Fellow Carl Lineberger as Member of the National Science Board
Published: 08-05-2011

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/.

Young JILA Scientists Take Home Honors at Boulder Laboratories Postdoctoral Poster Symposium
Published: 07-06-2011

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 Awarded ONR Young Investigator Grant
Published: 06-02-2011

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.

Jun Ye Elected to the National Academy of Sciences
Published: 05-03-2011

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.

Jun Ye Elected Director at Large of the Optical Society of America
Published: 05-03-2011

 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.

Chris Greene Named College Professor of Distinction
Published: 04-20-2011

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.

Steven Cundiff Receives William F. Meggers Award
Published: 04-15-2011

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.

President Obama to Nominate Carl Lineberger to the National Science Board
Published: 04-08-2011

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.

JILA's AMO Physics Center Key Part of Top Rated Graduate Program
Published: 03-16-2011

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 wins 2011 Frew Fellowship
Published: 02-03-2011

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.

Eric Cornell Featured in Physics World Profile
Published: 12-17-2010

A nice profile of Eric Cornell appeared in the December 2010 issue of Physics World. Read it here.

Cindy Regal is CU's first Clare Boothe Luce Professor
Published: 10-13-2010

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 Appointed to President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science
Published: 09-17-2010

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.

 
Kapteyn, Murnane Win R. W. Wood Prize
Published: 05-03-2010

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." 

Kapteyn, Murnane Awarded Schawlow Prize
Published: 01-13-2010

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.

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