Two KSU professors named physics fellows

Jonathan Selinger. Photo courtesy of Kent State.

Jacob Runnels

The American Physical Society named two Kent State professors in the fields of physics and chemical physics as fellows for 2014. 

Physics professor Declan Keane and chemical physics professor Jonathon Selinger were chosen for “exceptional contributions to the physics enterprise.”

“Some of the scientists I’ve been working with from other institutions nominated me last year,” Keane said. “It is a form of recognition for people who have made some contribution to the discipline of physics.”

The APS is a non-profit organization determined to make scientific breakthroughs and new research concerning physics to be more aware in the scientific community, according to the APS website. The community gets together and nominates their selection of fellows each year.

Selinger said there is a competition held every year, similar to an “adult science fair” for nominations.

Nominations are submitted based on works and research from the nominated scientists.

Keane said that he has been working with more than 50 scientific institutions around the world since 1985 at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) facility in Upton, New York, on an apparatus called the Solenoidal Tracker at RHIC (STAR) Experiment.

The STAR Experiment is producing “mini Big Bangs” to learn about matter at its most fundamental level. 

Selinger said that he has been working on developing theories of liquid crystal phases. He has also had his research published in the APS journal, Physical Review, throughout his career.

Associate physics professor Michael Strickland, a regional contact for the APS, said that usually long or outstanding research is recognized more by the APS. 

Strickland said he helps the APS organize meetings for scientists of certain physics disciplines to meet and talk about their research.

He along with Veronica Dexheimer, an assistant professor in the department of physics, is organizing an APS meeting in March at Kent State that involves APS members from Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia.

Keane and Selinger aren’t the first professors at Kent State to become fellows.

Selinger said that physics professors Gerassimos Petratos and Peter Tandy, along with chemical physics professor Peter Palffy are pre-existing fellows. Their research includes studies such as electromagnetic physics, nuclear physics and liquid crystal technology, respectively, according to the APS website.

Contact Jacob Runnels at [email protected].