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University of Maryland Department of Physics 1117 John S. Toll Physics Building College Park , MD 20742



xxxxxxNovember 2006 - Issue 51


Awards & Honors



John C. Mather and George F. Smoot of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have won the Nobel Prize in Physics. Dr. Mather has been an adjunct professor in the department since 1992. The prize was awarded for their work that helped cement the big-bang theory of the universe which gave a deeper understanding of the origin of galaxies and stars.
The prize includes a $1.4 million check, gold medal and a diploma which will be presented on December 10. Dr. Mather is a Senior Astrophysicist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center at Greenbelt, MD.
Click here for more information on Mather's upcoming public lecture.

William Phillips,
Distinguished University Professor, was awarded the Service to America Medal for conducting cutting-edge research to improve the quality of lives for US citizens. All of the civil servants were honored in early October.

The following Banneker-Key students were awarded a $5000 summer research scholarship:

Matthew Barr
Matthew Graves
Paul Lamber
Andrew Marsh
Chetan Mehta
Richhard O'Steen
Travis Weyforth
Benjamin Crist

*The summer research scholarship funds are donated by the family of the late Professor Angelo Bardasis. The money for the laptops are donated by department faculty.

In the News

James Drake co-wrote an article that appeared in the October 6, 2006 edition of Nature. The report covers the new model for electron acceleration during magnetic reconnection.
To view the article, visit:

On September 19th, Ronald Sagdeev was quoted in the Orange County Register on a story regarding the return of the space shuttle, Atlantis.

Keith Schwab, Adjunct Associate Professor, was featured in an article in Nature on September 14th. Along with his team, Schwab completed an experiment titled "Cooling a Nanomechanical Resonator with Quantum Back-Action."