High honor for 2 UC Riverside physicists

November 29, 2012

RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- Two physicists at the University of California, Riverside -- Richard Seto and Jing Shi -- have been elected as fellows of the American Physical Society (APS). Only 250 researchers received the high honor this year.

The APS represents more than 50,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories and industry in the United States and throughout the world. Fellowship in the society is limited to no more than one half of one percent of the membership. The evaluation process for fellowship election is done entirely by one's professional peers.

Seto, a professor of physics and astronomy, was elected an APS Fellow "for creative experimentation and leadership in the study of hadronic matter under extreme conditions including measurements and analysis leading to the discovery of the strongly-interacting Quark Gluon Plasma (sQGP)."

Seto works in the field of relativistic heavy ion physics -- a blend between nuclear physics and particle physics -- that focuses on the properties of bulk systems governed by the theory of strong interactions or Quantum Chromodynamics. His research is carried out on the PHENIX experiment at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, where very high energy collisions of heavy nuclei are available. This has led to the discovery of the strongly-interacting Quark Gluon Plasma, a state of matter in which the protons and neutrons in a nucleus are melted into their constituent quarks and gluons.

The author or coauthor of more than 170 papers in scholarly journals, Seto has served on the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee, which advises the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation on research priorities in nuclear science; the program committee for the Division of Nuclear Physics of American Physical Society; the editorial board for Physics Review C; and as PHENIX deputy spokesperson. Currently, he serves on the PHENIX Executive Committee, which advises the management of the experiment. Seto received his doctoral degree from Columbia University in 1983.

Shi, also a professor of physics and astronomy, was elected an APS Fellow "for his pioneering work in spin transport in organic semiconductors and organic molecules."

At UCR, his research endeavors include experimental condensed matter physics. Currently, he is working on the charge and spin transport in carbon-based and other novel electronic materials.

He has published nearly 90 papers in scholarly journals including two in Nature, one in Science, and six in Physical Review Letters. He holds 11 US patents and provisional patents. His many awards and honors include the highly competitive Research Innovation Award in 2000 from the Research Corporation as well as the IBM Faculty Award in 2009. He received his doctoral degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1994.
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The APS works to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings and education, outreach, advocacy and international activities.

The University of California, Riverside is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus will open a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion. A broadcast studio with fiber cable to the AT&T Hollywood hub is available for live or taped interviews. UCR also has ISDN for radio interviews. To learn more, call (951) UCR-NEWS.

University of California - Riverside

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