Nav: Home

Vanderbilt physicists Keivan Stassun and Kalman Varga elected APS Fellows

October 18, 2016

Keivan Stassun, Stevenson Professor of Physics, and Associate Professor of Physics Kalman Varga at Vanderbilt University have been elected fellows of the American Physical Society.

The fellowship is considered a prestigious recognition from their professional peers. The criterion for election is exceptional contributions to the physics enterprise, such as outstanding physics research, important applications of physics, leadership in or service to physics, or significant contributions to physics education. The number of fellows the Society can elect is limited to half a percent of its membership per year. This year the Society elected a total of 251 new fellows.

Stassun was cited "For helping to substantially increase Ph.D. attainment in physics and astronomy for underrepresented minorities, and for fundamental contributions to the astrophysics of young stars and brown dwarfs."

Stassun has made important intellectual contributions to the study of the physical processes that govern the birth and evolution of stars like the Sun and has also been extremely active in recruiting minority students. He is a prime mover behind the Vanderbilt Initiative in Data-Intensive Astrophysics, a campus project designed to give Vanderbilt scientists a major role in the informatics revolution currently sweeping astronomy and astrophysics. At the same time he has played a key role in establishing the Fisk-Vanderbilt Master's-to-Ph.D. program which has become the leading source of underrepresented minority students obtaining doctoral degrees in the critical STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines.

Varga was cited for the development of computational algorithms to describe the motion of electrons and nuclei in matter, specifically "For the development of a class of variational methods for accurate treatment of quantum few-body systems of various natures."

Varga's research focuses on computer simulation of nanoscale materials. He has developed a number of novel algorithms to study the interaction of lasers and matter at the atomic scale.

He works in the new field of attosecond science - an attosecond is a billion billionths of a second - that is allowing scientists to study extremely short-lived phenomena such as the making and breaking chemical bonds and tracking the real-time motion of electrons within semiconductors by probing them with attosecond pulses of light, They are also using these ultrafast pulses of light to create materials with new electronic and optical properties. Varga's simulations are aiding efforts to exploit these dynamic material properties to produce the next generation of electronics. The election of new fellows was published on the APS website and will appear in the December issue of the organization's newsletter, APS News.

Stassun and Varga join 24 other Vanderbilt faculty members who have previously received this honor.

Vanderbilt University

Related Astrophysics Articles:

Radio astronomers peer deep into the stellar nursery of the Orion Nebula
Astronomers have released an image of a 50-light-year-long filament of star-forming gas, 1200 light-years away, in the stellar nursery of the Orion Nebula.
Geology and biology agree on Pangaea supercontinent breakup dates
Scientists at The Australian National University have found that independent estimates from geology and biology agree on the timing of the breakup of the Pangaea supercontinent into today's continents.
Top high-energy prize awarded to LSU physicist and LIGO scientist Gabriela González
The 2017 Rossi Prize has been awarded to Gabriela González and the LIGO Scientific Collaboration for the first direct detections of gravitational waves, for the discovery of merging black hole binaries and for beginning the new era of gravitational-wave astronomy.
Lars Bildsten wins 2017 Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics
The American Institute of Physics and the American Astronomical Society announced today, on behalf of the Heineman Foundation for Research, Educational, Charitable, and Scientific Purposes, that California astrophysicist Lars Bildsten is the winner of the 2017 Heineman Prize for Astrophysics, a distinguished honor awarded annually to recognize significant contributions to the field.
Finding inspiration in the stars
Lars Bildsten, director of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, wins the 2017 Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics.
ANU helps find supercluster of galaxies near Milky Way
The Australian National University is part of an international team of astronomers that found one of the Universe's biggest superclusters of galaxies near the Milky Way.
Newly formed stars shoot out powerful whirlwinds
Researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute have used the ALMA telescopes to observe the early stages in the formation of a new solar system.
Vanderbilt physicists Keivan Stassun and Kalman Varga elected APS Fellows
Two Vanderbilt physicists, Keivan Stassun and Kalman Varga, have been elected fellows of the American Physical Society.
Breaking up: a convoluted drama at nuclear scale, too
Regardless of the scenario, breaking up is dramatic. Take the case of carbon splitting into three nuclei of helium.
Chaos in cosmos: Stars with three planet-forming discs of gas
A star with a ring of planets orbiting around it - that is the picture we know from our own solar system and from many of the thousands of exoplanets observed in recent years.

Related Astrophysics Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Crisis
There's no greater threat to humanity than climate change. What can we do to stop the worst consequences? This hour, TED speakers explore how we can save our planet and whether we can do it in time. Guests include climate activist Greta Thunberg, chemical engineer Jennifer Wilcox, research scientist Sean Davis, food innovator Bruce Friedrich, and psychologist Per Espen Stoknes.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#527 Honey I CRISPR'd the Kids
This week we're coming to you from Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. There, host Bethany Brookshire led a panel of three amazing guests to talk about the promise and perils of CRISPR, and what happens now that CRISPR babies have (maybe?) been born. Featuring science writer Tina Saey, molecular biologist Anne Simon, and bioethicist Alan Regenberg. A Nobel Prize winner argues banning CRISPR babies won’t work Geneticists push for a 5-year global ban on gene-edited babies A CRISPR spin-off causes unintended typos in DNA News of the first gene-edited babies ignited a firestorm The researcher who created CRISPR twins defends...