Three UO physicists chosen as 2010 APS Fellows

EUGENE, Ore. -- (Dec. 6, 2010) -- Three University of Oregon physicists -- Dietrich Belitz, Davison Soper and Steven van Enk -- are among 233 scientists chosen as 2010 Fellows by the American Physical Society (APS).

Each year since the society was founded in 1899, members have selected no more than one half of one percent of their peers as APS Fellows.

Belitz, who joined the department of physics in 1987, was cited by the APS for his work “on classical and quantal phase transitions, and the nature of phases affected by generic scale invariance." His nomination originated from the society's Division of Matter Physics.

Belitz, a professor of physics who specializes in condensed matter physics, served as head of the physics department in 1998-2004 and as associate dean for natural sciences in the College of Arts & Sciences from 2004 to 2010. He is a member of both the Institute of Theoretical Science and Materials Science Institute at the UO. He earned his doctoral degree in physics in 1982 from the University of Technology, Munich.

Soper, a member of the UO Institute of Theoretical Science, was chosen "for seminal work in perturbative quantum chromo dynamics, especially proving theorems on factorization, which play a crucial role in interpreting high-energy particle collisions." His nomination came from the society's Division of Particles and Fields.

Soper joined the UO in 1977 and specializes in theoretical high-energy physics and in the development of mathematical schemes used for calculations in particle physics. He won the J.J. Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Physics, one of the most prestigious awards in physics, in 2009, also by the APS. Soper, a member of the UO Center for High Energy Physics, earned his doctoral degree in 1971 from Stanford University.

Van Enk, who joined the physics department in 2006, was picked for his "pioneering contributions in theoretical quantum information and quantum optics, including entanglement verification, quantum communication and teleportation, and angular momentum of photons." His nomination was from the society's Topical Group on Quantum Information.

Van Enk, also a member of the Institute of Theoretical Science, teaches courses in optics, quantum mechanics and physics fundamentals. His research specialty is theoretical optical physics and quantum information. He earned his doctorate in physics in 1992 from the University of Leiden, did postdoctoral work at the Max-Planck-Institute of Quantum Optics in Germany, spent three years at the California Institute of Technology and conducted research for Bell Labs for six years in New Jersey before coming to the UO.

The APS Fellowship Program was created to recognize members who may have made advances in knowledge through original research and publication, or made significant innovative contributions in the application of physics to science and technology. They may also have made significant contributions to the teaching of physics or service and participation in APS activities.