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

Mailed 3/11/96


Upton, NY -- Sally Dawson, a physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory, is one of 11 women who will be honored on Sunday, March 24, for their accomplishments and contributions to Brookhaven Town. The women will be the guests of honor at the tenth annual women's recognition awards ceremony, as part of its observance of National Women's History Month. Dr. Dawson will be honored for her excellence in science.

As a theoretical particle physicist, Dawson performs two basic roles with the aid of powerful computer programs. She attempts to reveal the secrets of unknown phenomena by developing new theories to explain the workings of the physical universe. She also interprets experimental data to confirm existing theories.

Since joining Brookhaven, Dawson has worked on many theorectical questions, including determining characteristics of a hypothetical elementary particle called the Higgs boson. If the Higgs is found, it would help validate the basic theory of matter. Dr. Dawson is coauthor of The Higgs Hunters' Guide, a technical manual that describes the physics of the Higgs and many of the experiments launched to find the particle.

Dawson also helped formulate predictions for a particle called the top quark -- one of six quarks thought to make up elementary matter. The existence of the top quark was confirmed by an international team of scientists at DOE's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) last year.

After receiving her bachelor's degree in physics from Duke University in 1977, Sally Dawson earned her master's degree and doctorate from Harvard University in 1978 and 1981, respectively.

Dr. Dawson started her career as a research associate at Fermilab, where she worked from 1981-83, and then moved to DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where she stayed for three years, before coming to Brookhaven in 1986.

Highly respected in her field, Dr. Dawson has presented more than 65 invited scientific talks, served on national and international committees, and currently is an editor of the prestigious physics journal, Physical Review, and a fellow of the American Physical Society.

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.