SLAC Today logo

Apker Award Finalists

Yesterday, SLAC hosted some of tomorrow's brightest minds. Seven physics students presented their undergraduate work to panelists at SLAC in the competition for the American Physical Society (APS)'s LeRoy Apker Award.

Each candidate delivered a talk on his or her work and answered questions in a 50-minute session to a panel of APS physicists from across the nation and physics disciplines. Students' studies included manipulating atomic states to produce entangled photons, measuring hydrogen behavior in C-60 molecules, and simulating positronium behavior in cylindrical pore spaces.

As the APS outgoing past president, SLAC theoretical physicist Helen Quinn chaired this year's Apker Award selection committee and held the finalist interviews at SLAC. "All of these students are winners," said Quinn. "It's always very impressive to see what undergraduates can do." Current APS past president Marvin Cohen agreed. "It's rejuvenating for us to see people come into the field with energy and ambition," he said.

The award recognizes "outstanding achievements in physics by undergraduate students." Two students may receive the prize each year, one each from a Ph.D.-granting and a non-Ph.D.-granting institution.

Panelists selected the winners after the morning and afternoon sessions. An evening reception was then held, where all finalists received a certificate of their achievement and a $2,000 honorarium.

Winners will be announced within a month, with awards officially presented at the appropriate APS meeting next spring.

—Krista Zala
    SLAC Today, September 12, 2006