Student from Huazhong Normal University in China Wins 2009 Gertrude Scharff-Goldhaber Prize

Na Li performs research at Brookhaven Lab’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider

Na Li and Aihong Tang enlarge

Na Li (left) and her advisor, Brookhaven Lab associate scientist Aihong Tang

UPTON, NY — Na Li, a graduate student at Huazhong Normal University who expects to receive her Ph.D. in physics in the spring of 2010, has been awarded the 2009 Gertrude Scharff-Goldhaber Prize, consisting of a framed certificate and $1,000. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory established the award to recognize substantial promise and accomplishment by women graduate students in physics who are performing their thesis research at Brookhaven Lab, or who are enrolled at Stony Brook University.

Administered by Brookhaven Women in Science (BWIS), a nonprofit organization that supports and encourages the advancement of women in science, the prize honors the outstanding contributions of the late nuclear physicist Gertrude Scharff-Goldhaber. In 1950, she became the first woman Ph.D. physicist appointed to the Brookhaven Lab staff. She also was a founding member of BWIS.

Li earned a B.S. in physics from Huazhong Normal University in 2004 and is continuing her studies at the school to earn her doctorate. She is currently performing her thesis work at Brookhaven’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), a world-class accelerator where physicists study what the universe may have looked like the first few moments after its creation. At RHIC, physicists have discovered a “perfect” liquid, which many describe as quark-gluon plasma, a form of matter that is thought to have existed ten-millionths of a second after the Big Bang.

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