- Stephon Alexander won the prestigious Emerging Explorers award from the National Geographic.
The Emerging Explorers Program recognizes and supports uniquely gifted and inspiring young adventurers, scientists,
photographers, and storytellers — explorers who are already making a
difference early in their careers. To help the Emerging Explorers realize
their potential, National Geographic awards each of them U.S. $10,000 for
research and exploration. Each year up to ten explorers are chosen from
fields as diverse as anthropology, space exploration, mountaineering, and
music. Stephon was the only physicist among the 8 explorers
chosen in 2006.
- Stephon also featured on the NOVA program Einstein's Big Idea.
- Jonathan Engle has won the prestigious International Research fellowship
of the National Science Foundation. Since there are 30-35 awards each
year in all areas of science covered by the NSF, the competition is
fierce. Jonathan was placed second in a pool of several hundred
applications. He received other offers, including a Humboldt
Fellowship, but has accepted the NSF Fellowship to pursue post-doctoral
work in the Perez-Rovelli group at the Centre de Physique Théorique de
Luminy, Marseille, starting Fall 2006.
- Abhay Ashtekar, Tomasz Pawlowski, and Parampreet Singh co-authored three papers on the quantum nature of the big-bang [PRL, 96, 141301 (2006); PRD73, 124038, (2006);
and PRD D74, 084003 (2006)] in which some long-standing questions in quantum cosmology were answered in detail using Friedman Robertson Walker models. These results
were highlighted in a large number of semi-popular publications, including Research Highlights of Nature and a cover story in Bild der Wissenschaft, and a feature article
in New Scientist. See also:
- Parampreet Singh co-authored a Physical Review Letter entitled Quantum Evaporation of a naked Singularity (volume 96, 031302 (2006)). They
considered a simple model in which the classical gravitational collapse leads to a naked singularity and showed that the singularity is resolved
by the quantum geometry effects of loop quantum gravity. This result and the subsequent possibility that the resulting modifications of the
gravitational collapse may have observable signatures was highlighted in the Physics Web and New Scientist.
Physics Web report of of February 2nd, 2006 (PDF File)
New Scientist writeup in the February 4th 2006 issue (PDF file)
- Abhay Ashtekar was offered the Kramers Chair of Theoretical Physics at
the Spinoza Institute of Utrecht University for the months of April
and May 2006. Professor Gerard 't Hooft will act as his official host.
Previous occupants of the Chair include M. Berry, E. Brezin, M. Dresen, L.
Faddeev, A. Schwimer, P. B. Wiegmann and E. Wigner.
- Kevin Vandersloot has won the prestigious Marie Curie Post-doctoral
Fellowship of the European Union. This has been a coveted honor in Europe
and non EU citizens became eligible for nominations only recently.
Because the number of awards to non EU citizens is restricted, the
competition is even fiercer than for the regular Marie Curie Fellowships.
Kevin will take this Fellowship at the Institute of Cosmology and
Gravitation in Portsmouth, UK.
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