Physics Professor to Receive Prize at American Physical Society Meeting Feb. 27, 2012

Professor of Physics David S. Hall ’91 will receive the American Physical Society’s Prize for a Faculty Member for Research at an Undergraduate Institution at its annual meeting in Boston on Feb. 27, the APS has announced. Awarded annually, the prize honors a physicist whose research in an undergraduate setting has achieved wide recognition and contributed significantly to physics. It also recognizes an individual who has played an important and supporting role in the professional development of undergraduate physics students.

The award consists of a $5,000 stipend for Hall and a separate $5,000 unrestricted research grant for Amherst. The professor will also receive an allowance for travel expenses to the APS meeting and a certificate citing his contributions. In June, he will give an invited talk on his research at an APS conference in Anaheim, Calif.

“Great students, great colleagues and strong institutional support have made it possible for me to successfully pursue some challenging experiments,” said Hall, noting in particular his group’s recent success in imaging the motion of vortex lines in an ultracold superfluid. “I’m especially pleased that we’ve become competitive in a fast-paced and exciting field of research.”

Established in 1984 by a grant from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, a private foundation for the advancement of science and technology, the Prize for a Faculty Member for Research at an Undergraduate Institution requires that recipients be recognized as contributing “substantially to physics research and providing inspirational guidance and encouragement of undergraduate students participating in this research.” Nominations for the prize call also for a publication list that highlights student coauthors. Hall is the second member of the Amherst faculty to win the award; Larry Hunter, the Stone Professor of Natural Sciences (Physics), won the prize in 1991—the year that Hall graduated from Amherst.