Contact: Mona S.Rowe,(516) 282-2345 or
Diane Greenberg, (516) 282-2347

Mailed 9/26/95


Upton, NY -- Michael Hart, an English scientist who has made distinguished contributions to x-ray physics, has been appointed chairman of Brookhaven National Laboratory's National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS) Department. He succeeds Denis McWhan, who was promoted to Associate Director for Basic Energy Sciences at Brookhaven.

Brookhaven's NSLS Department has a staff of 180 and operates the world's largest facility for scientific research using x-rays, ultraviolet and infrared radiation. More than 2,700 scientists from over 400 universities, laboratories and industry use the NSLS each year for experiments in such diverse fields as biology, chemistry, physics, medicine and materials science.

"It is known worldwide that the NSLS is a top-class facility, and I hope to use my international perspective on synchrotron radiation to consolidate our position in the field," Dr. Hart said.

Acknowledging, however, that the NSLS will face stiff competition from two new light sources being built in the U.S., he added that it is his job to make sure that the NSLS capitalizes on its strengths, meets its users' current requirements for experiments and keeps a strong research and development effort aimed at meeting their future needs.

Dr. Hart earned his B.Sc., Ph.D. and D.Sc. in physics from the University of Bristol, England, in 1960, 1963, and 1972, respectively. He started his career in physics at Cornell University in the U.S., where he worked as a research associate from 1963-65.

He then took a research position at Bristol University in 1965, where he remained for eleven years, eventually being promoted to reader, a distinguished professorship.

During the height of the space race in 1969-70, Dr. Hart took a sabbatical from Bristol to perform research in the U.S. at the Electronics Research Center of the National Aeronautics & Space Administration. From 1975-77, he took a second sabbatical to serve on the central policy review staff for the British government's cabinet.

In 1976, Dr. Hart became Wheatstone Professor and head of the Physics Department at King's College of London University. After his department merged with that of Queen Elizabeth College, he headed the joint department beginning in 1980.

Following his acceptance of a personal physics chair from Manchester University in 1984, he also served part-time as the synchrotron radiation source science program coordinator at Daresbury Laboratory from 1984-87. He took early retirement from Manchester University in 1993, becoming a consultant and research collaborator until his recent appointment at Brookhaven.

Dr. Hart has won many honors, including the American Crystallographic Association's Bertram Eugene Warren Award for Diffraction Physics in 1970 and the Charles Vernon Boys Prize from The Institute of Physics in 1971. In 1982, he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of the United Kingdom, and in 1994, he was appointed by Queen Elizabeth as Commander of the British Empire for his service to physics.

Brookhaven National Laboratory carries out basic and applied research in physical, biomedical and environmental sciences and in selected energy technologies. Associated Universities, Inc., a nonprofit research management organization, operates the Laboratory under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy.

NOTE TO LOCAL EDITORS: Michael Hart resides in Upton, NY.