Betsy Beise Named University of Maryland Distinguished Scholar-Teacher

Elizabeth Beise, Professor of Physics and Associate Provost for Academic Planning and Programs, has been named a University of Maryland Distinguished Scholar-Teacher.

An internationally-recognized expert in experimental nuclear physics, Dr. Beise researches the fundamental, underlying properties of neutrons and protons, the constituents of the nuclei in atoms.  She has led experiments in electron scattering at the MIT-Bates accelerator and at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (JLab) in Newport News, Virginia.  At JLab, scientists use high-current beams of electrons to probe the structure neutrons and protons, to try to understand the origin their charge, spin, and magnetic moment, the latter being fundamental to such widely-used technology as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

Among her accolades have been the National Science Foundation’s Young Investigator Award, the American Physical Society’s Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award, and Fellowship in the American Physical Society and in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in which she was cited for the elucidation of the internal structure of nucleons and small nuclei by experimental electron scattering.

In 2008, Dr. Beise received the George A. Snow Memorial Award of the Department of Physics. This award, established in honor of the late UMD professor for whom it is named, recognizes someone who personally helps to advance the representation of women in the field of physics.

Distinguished Scholar-Teachers receive $5000 to support scholarly and instructional activities. They also deliver a public address; the date for Dr. Beise’s talk will be posted in the Fall 2012 Physics Colloquium listing. 

Ellen D. Williams in Physics Today

Distinguished University Professor, and IPST faculty member Ellen D. Williams was interviewed by Jermey N. A. Matthews on page 18 of the January 2012 issue of Physics Today. After spending three decades in academia conducting nanotechnology research, Professor Williams, a chemist-turned-physicist, is now tackling the energy problem in the faster-paced industrial environment. She is currently on leave from the University of Maryland to serve as British Petroleum's chief scientist.

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Alessandra Buonanno Named 2011 APS Fellow

Alessandra Buonanno has been named a Fellow of the American Physical Society. She is being recognized "for revolutionizing our understanding of quantum optical noise in interferometric gravitational-wave detectors (with Chen), creating the effective-one-body (EOB) approach to 2-body dynamics (with Damour), and leading the creation of template families for searches for gravitational waves from compact binaries."

Founded in 1899, the APS is the world's second largest organization of physicists. Fellows are recognized by their peers for advances made in knowledge, through original research and publications. The total number of newly elected Fellows in any one year cannot exceed one per cent of Society memberships.

Professor Buonanno is a premier theorist in the field of gravitational waves. She joined the University of Maryland in 2005. She is a member of the Maryland Center for Fundamental Physics and the Joint Space-Science Institute.

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Thomas Antonsen Named 2011 IEEE Fellow

Thomas Antonsen has been named a 2011 Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Fellow. He is being recognized for his contributions to the theory of magnetically confined plasmas, laser-plasma interactions and high-power coherent radiation sources.

The IEEE Grade of Fellow is conferred by the IEEE Board of Directors upon a person with an outstanding record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest. The total number selected in any one year cannot exceed one-tenth of one- percent of the total voting membership.

Professor Antonsen joined the University of Maryland in 1980. He currently holds a joint academic appointment as Professor of Physics and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He is also a member of the Institue for research in Electronics and Applied Physics.

In Memoriam: Ralph J. Vendemia Jr.

The kind and patient Ralph J. Vendemia Jr., who welcomed and assisted innumerable Terps in the Slawsky Clinic over 11 years, succumbed on January 17, 2012. He projected such vitality here in the John S. Toll Building that many of his friends and colleagues were stunned to read that he was 84 years of age.

Ralph received his degrees at this campus before embarking on a career in applied physics, first at the Goodyear Aircraft Corporation and then, for decades, at the Applied Physics Lab. He specialized in aerodynamics and the wind-tunnel testing of guided missiles. His studies included the analysis of external aerodynamic characteristics of missiles, underwater missile launchings using telemetry data and pressure distributions over bodies of revolutions. He helped to develop a calculational procedure for computing pressures and loads on various nose shapes and afterbody lengths, and he assisted in pre-test planning to determine the aerodynamics for various missile configurations.

He is survived by his wife, Lucille M. Vendemia, children Martin Vendemia and Luanne Smith, and grandchildren Brian and Sarah. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Cheverly or to the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center, 110 Paca Street, Baltimore, MD 21201.