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Stony Brook University Student Wins 2012 Gertrude Scharff-Goldhaber Prize

Marija Kotur

Marija Kotur

Marija Kotur, who recently received her Ph.D. from the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Stony Brook University (SBU), has been awarded the 2012 Gertrude Scharff-Goldhaber Prize. Currently funded by Brookhaven Science Associates, the company that manages BNL for DOE, the award was established in 1992 by Brookhaven Women in Science (BWIS), a nonprofit organization that supports and encourages the advancement of women in science.

The annual Gertrude Scharff-Goldhaber Prize recognizes substantial promise and accomplishment by a woman graduate student in physics. The prize honors the outstanding contributions of the late nuclear physicist Gertrude Scharff-Goldhaber. In 1950, she became the first woman Ph.D. appointed to BNL staff and later was a founding member of BWIS. The annual award is administered by BWIS and consists of a certificate and a check for $1,000.

Kotur earned a B.S. in theoretical and experimental physics at the University of Belgrade, Serbia, in 2005. Her prize-winning work, performed at SBU under the guidance of SBU Professor Thomas Weinacht, is in the area of strong-field ionization of polyatomic molecules. Strong-field ionization has been the focus of recent research efforts in ultrafast atomic, molecular and optical science, due to its role in the generation of attosecond pulses and as a probe of both nuclear and electronic dynamics, and in imaging molecular orbitals, which describe the wave-like behavior of an electron in a molecule. 

Kotur has recently taken a postdoctoral position at Lund University in Sweden and has left the U.S. to pursue her research.

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