Morgan May Named Senior Scientist Emeritus

Morgan May enlarge

Morgan May

For his contributions during a nearly 45-year career at Brookhaven Lab, physicist Morgan May was granted emeritus status in March 2017.

May joined Brookhaven's Physics Department as a research associate in 1974, following a four-year guest appointment as a junior research associate and an earlier appointment as a research assistant. After completing his doctoral work in particle physics and receiving his Ph.D. from Columbia University, he was promoted to assistant physicist in 1975. Over the years, he rose through the department's ranks, with promotions to associate physicist in 1977, physicist in 1979, and tenured physicist in 1984. He continues active research programs at Brookhaven and Columbia, where he also teaches and advises doctoral students.

May first focused his research on nuclei and nuclear matter having strangeness quantum numbers, leading the discovery of numerous states of "hypernuclei" (nuclei containing strangeness). From the early 2000s onward, he worked with then-Physics Department Chair Samuel Aronson and Instrumentation Division scientists on initiating and building Brookhaven's astrophysics and cosmology effort. As a result of this effort, Brookhaven is constructing critical components for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST). May helped develop methods to understand the dark energy in the universe through weak lensing using the LSST in the presence of realistic systematic errors and instrumental and observational effects.

In writing to congratulate May, Lab Director Doon Gibbs said, "Of note is your key role in establishing the astrophysics and cosmology effort at Brookhaven more than a decade ago, which led to Brookhaven's strong involvement in the project to build the LSST."

Gibbs also highlighted May's leadership of the Physics Department's Astrophysics and Cosmology Group, which was formed in 2009: "You shepherded the group for more than five years from its infancy to a well-established group."

May said, "Seven Nobel prizes have been awarded for research conducted at Brookhaven. I knew five of the winners personally. Why Brookhaven? Of course, its tremendous technological resources are a factor. But it is more fundamentally due to imaginative and creative scientists, including those in the Instrumentation Division, whose innovations enabled many of the discoveries."

Meet 12 other scientists who have received emeritus status

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