New Haven, Conn. The Sloan Foundation announced that three exceptional young scientists at Yale University will be honored as two-year Research Fellows, beginning September 1, 2007.
The Sloan Research Fellowships were established in 1955 to provide support and recognition to early-career scientists and scholars with outstanding promise of making fundamental contributions to new knowledge. Each fellow receives a $45,000 award for the two-year period and is free to pursue whatever line of inquiry is of the most compelling interest to him or her.
Those named at Yale are Assistant Professor Jack Harris (Physics and Applied Physics), Associate Professor Brian Scassellati (Computer Science), Assistant Professor Susumu Tomita (Cellular & Molecular Physiology, and the Interdepartmental Neurosciences Program).
Jack Harris is a physicist who studies the relationship between light and matter. "The idea that light can propel matter is quite old, and has been in the news recently as solar sail technology is being tested for spaceship propulsion," he said. "The basic laws underlying this effect have been understood for more than a century: when light reflects off a surface, it exerts a gentle but measurable force."
In recent years physicists have been trying to understand this effect at the opposite end of the size scale how would this force effect a mirror that was so small and floppy that the recoil of individual photons would shake it measurably? According to Harris. "The answer has been debated since the first days of quantum m
Contact: Janet Rettig Emanuel