Four Brookhaven Lab Scientists Named American Physical Society Fellows

UPTON, NY — Four scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory have been named Fellows of the American Physical Society, a professional organization with about 46,000 members. Election to APS Fellowship is limited to no more than one half of one percent of its membership in a given year, and election for this honor indicates recognition by scientific peers for outstanding contributions to physics.

The 2008 Fellows from Brookhaven Lab are:

Thomas Ludlam

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“For his contribution to the establishment of the scientific program for the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider [RHIC] at Brookhaven National Laboratory and for his leadership in the design and construction of the RHIC detectors.”

Ludlam played a major role in the development of Brookhaven’s world-class accelerator, RHIC, from its design stage starting in the early 1980s to the design and construction of its four detectors and the development of its research programs. RHIC began operations in 2000, colliding high-energy beams of heavy atomic nuclei, known as heavy ions, for experimental studies performed by physicists from around the world. These collisions allow the study of nature's strongest force, through the interactions of subatomic particles called quarks and gluons, by creating an extraordinarily hot and dense type of matter that is thought to have characterized the universe a few millionths of a second after the Big Bang. In 2005, physicists at RHIC found such a state of matter, and discovered that it behaves like a "perfect" liquid.

Ludlam earned a Ph.D. in physics from Yale University in 1969 and began his career on the faculty of Yale. He joined Brookhaven in 1978 as an associate physicist and rose through the ranks to become a senior physicist in 1994. From 1990 to 1999 he served as associate project head for the RHIC Project. In 2004, he became associate chair of Nuclear Physics within the Physics Department at Brookhaven, and in 2007, he was named chair of Brookhaven’s Physics Department.

Triveni Rao

“For pioneering work on metal photo cathodes for high brightness RF injectors.”

Rao pioneered the research on metal photocathodes that are the workhorse of various electron accelerator facilities worldwide, including facilities at Brookhaven. When photo cathodes are struck by light, they release electrons. Rao’s research focuses on measuring and enhancing electron yield and the lifetime of the cathode material. She was the first to recommend copper and magnesium as suitable cathodes for high brightness injectors. Rao also developed a laser-cleaning process for metal photo cathodes that improves the yield by a hundred to a thousand. Currently, she is investigating diamond to amplify electron yield by a hundredfold.

Rao received her Ph.D. in physics from the University of Illinois in 1983. After working at Quantronix Corporation for a year, she joined Brookhaven Lab in 1985 as an assistant physicist. Rao currently is a tenured physicist.

Peter Siddons

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“For his contribution to x-ray optics, x-ray physics, x-ray detectors, and the development of synchrotron radiation instrumentation and experimental techniques.”

Siddons is the group leader of the experimental systems detectors section at Brookhaven’s National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS). To enable the study of a wide variety of materials ranging from computer components to proteins, the NSLS produces intense beams of infrared, ultraviolet, and x-ray light in the form of photons at varying energies. Siddons helps experimenters implement new and more efficient ways to “see” their results through better optics and new systems of detectors.

Siddons earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of London, Kings College, in 1979. After serving as director of R&D at Precision Electronic Corporation in Toronto, Canada, Siddons joined Brookhaven as a scientist in 1985 and became leader of the NSLS beamline R&D and user support group in 1994. In 2000, he was made the leader of the NSLS detector development & beamline controls group. He has shared R&D 100 Awards in 1990 and 2006 and was the recipient of Brookhaven Lab’s Science and Technology Award in 2006.

Werner Vogelsang

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“For his outstanding contributions to the development of perturbative QCD and the theoretical methods of analysis of the spin structure of the nucleons.”

Vogelsang makes calculations based on quantum chromodynamics, or QCD, a physics theory that describes the interactions of subatomic particles called quarks and gluons. Vogelsang compares his results with experimental data to understand how protons, which are made of quarks and gluons, get their spin. This is a fundamental question about elementary particles that has not been adequately answered, despite decades of study. Using earlier experimental results from accelerators in which photons are used to probe protons, Vogelsang, like other researchers, found that the spin of quarks accounts for only about 25 percent of proton spin. In more recent work at RHIC, data combined with Vogelsang's calculations so far do not show any evidence of sizable contributions of gluon spin to the proton’s spin. More extensive and detailed studies, both experimentally and theoretically, are needed to determine how the proton’s spin is carried by its inner constituents.

Vogelsang earned his Ph.D. from the University of Dortmund, Germany, in 1993, and then took a postdoctoral position in the theory group at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in England. In 1997, he became a Fellow at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, and, in 1999, he came to the U.S. to join the C.N. Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics at Stony Brook University. He became a RIKEN Fellow at Brookhaven Lab’s RIKEN BNL Research Center in 2000, and he advanced to become a tenured physicist in 2005. In 2007, he received the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Humboldt Foundation for his outstanding research in theoretical physics.

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