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At the recent meeting of the APS Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (DAMOP) in Santa Fe , Christopher Wood, currently a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute for Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado, was selected as the 1998 recipient of the DAMOP Thesis Award. Wood was chosen from among five finalists who presented their papers at a special Thursday morning session.
Born and raised in Wyoming, Wood attended the University of Wyoming in Laramie from 1985 to 1989 for his undergraduate studies. During that time, he worked as an undergraduate on balloon-based measurements of the ozone hole in Antarctica. He also participated in the Summer Science Undergraduate program at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. He opted to attend the University of Colorado /JILA for graduate study, where he worked on the cesium parity non-conservation (PNC) measurement with Carl Wieman, for which work the DAMOP thesis award was given. He is presently engaged in 1-, 2-, and 3-ion experiments (using Be+ ions) for quantum logic and quantum optics at NIST.
"Historically, atomic PNC measurements have bridged the gap between high energy and low energy physics," said Wood of his thesis work with Wieman. "Our recently completed 0.35% measurement of PNC in cesium has gone a step further and created a bridge between atomic physics and nuclear physics." He also made a 14% measurement of the parity violating nuclear anapole moment, a seven-fold improvement over previous measurements.
The DAMOP Thesis Award recognizes doctoral thesis research of outstanding quality and achievement in atomic, molecular or optical physics, and encourages effective written and oral presentation of research results. The other four finalists, and their thesis topics, were Orly Alter (Stanford University), "Impossibility of Determining the Quantum Wavefunction of a Single System and Fundamental Limit to External Force Detection"; W.R. Anderson (University of Virginia, Charlottesville), "Resonant Dipole-Dipole Collisions of Rydberg Atoms in a Magneto-Optical Trap"; Robert J. Dodd (Oxford University), "Bose-Einstein Condensation in Atomic Alkali Gases"; and Chandra S. Raman (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), "Rydberg Wave Packets and Half-Cycle Electromagnetic Pulses."
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