Eno Chosen as Leader of US Future Higgs Factory Effort

In June, 2024, a “Future Circular Collider” (FCC) workshop was held in San Francisco. Gina Rameika, Associate Director for the Office of High Energy Physics at the Department of Energy's Office of Science,  announced a new joint NSF/DOE organization toSarah EnoSarah Eno lead the U.S. effort on future Higgs factories.  Professor Sarah Eno was named a leader of the “Higgs Factory Steering FCC FlowFCC FlowCommittee” along with Srini Rajagopalan of Brookhaven National Lab.  The committee also includes two members representing the International Linear Collider. 

More information about the FCC can be found at: https://home.cern/science/accelerators/future-circular-collider.    

The planned FCC.The planned FCC

Gorshkov Wins IEEE Photonics Society Quantum Electronics Award

Adjunct Professor and Alexey Gorshkov has won the 2024 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Photonics Society Quantum Electronics Award.

Each year the IEEE Photonics Society recognizes one individual or team with the award for outstanding contributions to quantum electronics. Gorshkov, who is also a Physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a Fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) and of the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science and an Institute for Robust Quantum Simulation Senior Investigator, was honored for his research contributions in the areas of understanding, designing, and controlling interacting quantum systems. These topics are essential to the development and operation of technologies like quantum computers, quantum networks and quantum sensors.

"It's a great honor to receive this award,” Gorshkov says. “I am profoundly grateful to my numerous fantastic collaborators, including students and postdocs, and to my colleagues—all of these people were instrumental to completing the research that led to this award."

Gorshkov leads a theoretical research group that tackles a broad range of physics topics encompassing quantum optics, atomic and molecular physics, condensed matter physics and quantum information science. By combining tools and concepts from these areas, his group works to develop powerful quantum technologies, including precise clocks, sensors, quantum communication devices, and quantum computers. These devices require precise control of light, atoms or molecules to harness quantum behaviors and deliver practical advantages. 

IEEE is a global professional organization with more than 460,000 members. It fosters technological innovation by sponsoring conferences, publishing academic journals, honoring the achievements of community members and other activities. The IEEE Photonics Society is the portion of the organization that is focused on research into the quantum behavior of particles of light. 

Original story by Bailey Bedford: https://jqi.umd.edu/news/gorshkov-wins-ieee-photonics-society-quantum-electronics-award

Melanie Knouse Cline, 1990-2024

Melanie Knouse Cline, a coordinator in the Maryland Center for Fundamental Physics (MCFP), died unexpectedly on June 3, 2024 at the age of 33.

Melanie joined the department in 2018, but her association with UMD Physics began at birth. Her father, Ernie Knouse, was a UMD employee for 30 years, and worked in electronic development at the time of his death in 1999 at age 60.

Steve Rolston presents Melanie Cline with a Staff Excellence Award in 2021.Steve Rolston presents Melanie Cline with a Staff Excellence Award in 2021.Her mother, Kari Knouse Aldridge, managed sponsored projects for UMD physics until 2006. As a child, Melanie was a frequent and welcome visitor to the John S. Toll Building.

As a UMD student, she enjoyed working for the golf course for several years while earning a degree in sociology. She accepted her MCFP position in 2018, managing the theory group’s travel and administrative needs.

Melanie was roundly enjoyed and esteemed within the department for her exceptionally helpful nature and friendliness.  During the rotating coffee klatches, she was the perfect hostess, providing a beautiful display of treats and healthy snacks and welcoming one and all with her gracious smile.

In 2021, Melanie received the department’s Staff Excellence Award, cited for “her competent, diligent and reliable work; her above average commitment to the institute's mission; her willingness ‘to walk the extra mile’; and her contribution to MCFP's positive work environment.”

Information about her memorial service can be found here: https://www.beallfuneral.com/obituaries/melanie-cline  
Her family plans a bench in the UMD Listening Garden: https://www.gofundme.com/f/in-memory-of-melanie-a-umd-listening-garden-bench


 Melanie and her mother Kari Aldridge (front) at Maryland Day 2000.Melanie and her mother Kari Aldridge (front) at Maryland Day 2000.Melanie and Kari at Maryland Day 2007.Melanie and Kari at Maryland Day 2007.

Alumnus Named to Chilean Academy of Sciences

Alumnus Juan Alejandro Valdivia has been named a corresponding member of the Chilean Academy of Sciences

Valdivia as a UMD student.Valdivia as a UMD student.

Valdivia received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Maryland. He earned his B.S. magna cum laude in 1991 in three majors (physics, mathematics and astronomy). He received his Ph.D. in physics under the direction of Professor Dennis Papadopoulos in 1997. His dissertation on “The Physics of High-Altitude Lightning” received the 1998 Fred Scarf Award given to the best Ph.D. dissertation in Space Physics and Aeronomy by the American Geophysical Union.  

Valdivia currently holds the position of Full Professor in the Department of Physics of the University of Chile. His experience and contributions span various areas, from plasma physics and nonlinear phenomena to the theory of chaos, complex systems, astrophysics and physics in general. He has supervised more than 20 Ph.D. and numerous M.S. theses, has served as Chairman of the Physics Department and has left a significant mark in the editorial field and as a reviewer of projects at the international level.

María Cecilia Hidalgo of the Academy congratulates Valdivia.María Cecilia Hidalgo of the Academy congratulates Valdivia.At the induction ceremony, the president of the Chilean Academy of Sciences, Dr. María Cecilia Hidalgo, noted that "The selection of Dr. Alejandro Valdivia to our Academy is a source of great pride. His outstanding trajectory and contributions in the field of physics are an invaluable contribution to the Chilean scientific community. We are confident that their impact will further enrich our commitment to scientific progress in the country. We warmly welcome the Dr. Valdivia and look forward to working together on the promotion and development of science in Chile."

Gates Honored by Harvard University

Sylvester James Gates, Jr. was awarded an honorary doctorate of science during Harvard University’s 373rd Commencement Exercises on May 23, 2024.  Honorary degree recipients Jennie Chin Hansen (clockwise from top left), Sylvester James Gates Jr., Lawrence S. Bacow, Joy Harjo-Sapulpa, Gustavo Adolfo Dudamel Ramírez, and Maria Ressa with interim President Alan Garber and interim Provost John Manning.  Credit: Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerHonorary degree recipients Jennie Chin Hansen (clockwise from top left), Sylvester James Gates Jr., Lawrence S. Bacow, Joy Harjo-Sapulpa, Gustavo Adolfo Dudamel Ramírez, and Maria Ressa with interim President Alan Garber and interim Provost John Manning. Credit: Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer

A member of the National Academy of Sciences and recipient of the National Medal of Science, Gates holds the Clark Leadership Chair in Science and a joint appointment in the Department of Physics and the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland. He is also a Distinguished University Professor and a University System of Maryland Regents Professor.

Gates is well-known for his seminal work in supersymmetry, supergravity and string theory. He has made milestone discoveries in the mathematics of particle theory and the geometry of gravity. In addition to his research achievements, Gates also distinguished himself as a powerful advocate for education and an ambassador for science around the world.

Gates received the 2011 National Medal of Science “for contributions to the mathematics of supersymmetry in particle, field, and string theories and extraordinary efforts to engage the public on the beauty and wonder of fundamental physics.” He served on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) under Barack Obama and was the vice president of the Maryland State Board of Education. Gates was the recipient of the American Institute of Physics’ 2021 Andrew Gemant Award, given in recognition of contributions to the cultural, artistic, or humanistic dimension of physics. 

He is the author (with Cathie Pelletier) of Proving Einstein Right: The Daring Expeditions that Changed How We Look at the Universe, a well-reviewed tale of scientific passion and pursuit in the early 20th century.

Gates joined the UMD physics faculty in 1984. He has also held appointments at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Howard University, Dartmouth College and Brown University. He has served as president of both the National Society of Black Physicists and the American Physical Society.

In addition to the new recognition from Harvard, Gates has been awarded honorary degrees from South Africa’s University of the Witwatersrand, the University of Johannesburg, Brown University, the University of Pennsylvania, Memorial University of Newfoundland, NYU-Poly, Morgan State University, the University of Western Australia, Loyola University Chicago and Georgetown University.

Harvard also conferred honorary degrees on Jennie Chin Hansen, Lawrence S. Bacow, Joy Harjo-Sapulpa, Gustavo Adolfo Dudamel Ramirez and Maria Ressa.