Physics Staff Members Honored at Annual Luncheon

Five members of the Department of Physics were honored at an October luncheon held in the lobby of the Physical Sciences Complex. 
The Chair's Award for Outstanding Service was given to Mark Conners. One nominator called him "an incredible asset to faculty and staff at the Physics Department, and in particular to young assistant professors who start out on a faculty job with a range of non-trivial financial and procedural matters they need to deal with right away."
The Sibylle Sampson Award was given to Samantha Suplee. She was nominated for planning and coordinating the North American Conference on Trapped Ions (NACTI). "Pulling this together required quick thinking and creative solutions. Her energy, drive, positive attitude and friendly manner have made this conference a success."
The Staff Excellence Award was given to three employees.
  • Janet Das Sarma. She was cited for her "tremendous organization and coordination" in arranging the Condensed Matter Theory Center's move from the Toll Building to a new suite in the Atlantic Building. "She spent an enormous amount of time and attention to detail to make this happen.  I commend her for this effort!"
  • Donna Hammer.  "Donna Hammer puts her life and soul into this department and it shows. She gives so much of her time and effort into making this place comforting for women in undergrad and beyond and fosters the personal and professional development needed so we can succeed. She is constantly branching out to do new and innovative things."
  • Kristin Stenson.  She was nominated for her contributions to CNAM – including event planning, graphics development and outreach activities – as it was renamed the Quantum Materials Center. She was cited for "exceptional service, commitment and tremendous contribution to the center and its development."
Openings for staff positions in the department are posted here.

Sankar Das Sarma, Chris Monroe and Ian Spielman Named 2019 Highly Cited Researchers

Sankar Das Sarma, Chris Monroe and Ian Spielman join two other faculty members in the University of Maryland’s College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences included on Clarivate Analytics’ 2019 list of Highly Cited Researchers, a compilation of influential names in science.

Das Sarma is a Richard E. Prange Chair and Distinguished University Professor in Physics, Joint Quantum Institute Fellow, and Condensed Matter Theory Center Director. Das Sarma was included in previous compilations of this list in 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2001.

Monroe is the Bice Zorn Professor of Physics, a Distinguished University Professor, a member of the Quantum Technology Center and a fellow of the Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science and the Joint Quantum Institute

Spielman is an Adjunct Professor of Physics, JQI Fellow and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Fellow. Spielman was also included in the  2018 and 2017 compilations.

Faculty Position in Experimental Particle Physics

The University of Maryland Department of Physics invites applications for a tenure-track faculty position at the level of Assistant Professor in experimental particle physics using the CMS detector at the CERN LHC. A more senior level position can be considered for exceptional candidates. 

The Department has a strong effort in both experimental and theoretical particle physics, and specifically on physics of the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider. The successful candidate will be a leader in hadron collider physics. The preferred starting date for the position is August of 2020.

Minimum requirements: A Ph.D. in physics or a physics-related discipline.  Good teaching, particularly in settings with diverse groups, is a high priority of the Department, and a potential for teaching excellence is necessary. Candidates should have a demonstrated ability to conduct independent research, have good communication skills, and have the potential for leadership within the research community. The University of Maryland and Department of Physics are committed to increasing the diversity of the campus community. Candidates who have experience working with a diverse range of faculty, staff, and students, and who can contribute to the climate of inclusivity are encouraged to identify their experience in these areas.

Only applications submitted through the UMD online site will be considered:

Required are (1) a cover letter, (2) a CV, (3) a statement of research interests and plans, (4) a statement of teaching philosophy and (5) the names and email addresses of four reference writers. For best consideration, applications should be received by December 31, 2019.

The University of Maryland, College Park, an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action; all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment. The University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, physical or mental disability, protected veteran status, age, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, creed, marital status, political affiliation, personal appearance, or on the basis of rights secured by the First Amendment, in all aspects of employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.

Lorraine DeSalvo Chair's Endowed Award for Outstanding Service

Upon Lorraine DeSalvo's 2019 retirement, the Department of Physics commended her 41 years of service by establishing the Lorraine DeSalvo Chair's Endowed Award for Outstanding Service. The award will recognize employees in the Department of Physics who provide benefit beyond their regular duties, promote positive professional and personal exchanges among colleagues and work effectively with internal and external partners. The chair of the Department of Physics will administer the fund and select recipients.

Contibutions can be made online or by check.  Checks should be made payable to the "University of Maryland College Park Foundation" or  "UMCP Foundation."  In the notes/for section on the check please write, "Lorraine DeSalvo Chair's Endowed Award."  Mail to: 

CMNS Office of the Dean
2300 Symons Hall 
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

Read more about support for the Department of Physics here.

Joseph Sucher, 1930-2019

Professor Emeritus Joe Sucher, a UMD faculty member for 41 years, died on Oct. 18 at the age of 89.

Joe joined UMD in 1957, after earning his Ph.D. from Columbia University with a thesis on the quantum electrodynamics of the helium atom. He is best known for work on the relativistic theory of many-electron atoms, the quantum theory of long-range forces, the foundations of relativistic quantum theory, the Gellman-Low-Sucher level-shift formula, the no-pair Hamiltonian for many-electron atoms, the Levy-Sucher identity, the Dirac-Sucher equation and the Feinberg-Sucher formula for the long-range force between neutral atoms. He was a devoted educator and was named a UMD Distinguished Scholar-Teacher in 1989.

Two years ago, he established the Joseph and Dorothy Sucher Graduate Prize in Relativistic Theoretical Physics to remember Dorothy, his wife of 58 years. She was a psychotherapist and a writer for the Greenbelt News Review whose work resulted in a landmark Supreme Court decision upholding freedom of the press. Her last writing project took her to Russia and Belarus shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union, as she tried to piece together the history of her grandparents before they emigrated to the U.S. After her death, Joe and his son Anatol completed the work, Return to the Shtetl.

A native of Vienna, Joe was forced with his family to flee Hitler’s Nazism.  He escaped from Austria in 1938, and after a harrowing trek though Germany, Luxembourg, France, Spain and Portugal, arrived in the United States at age 10. He described the odyssey in a 2014 oral history interview with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Joe was well-known in the department for his great wit, his unfailing charm and his memorable lyrics; he often graced departmental gatherings with impressive poems, such as one he wrote on the 50th anniversary of the tradition of Physics Tea.