David Awschalom to receive 2015 Lilienfeld Prize from American Physical Society

Steve Koppes
Associate News DirectorUniversity Communications

The American Physical Society has announced that it will present its 2015 Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize to David Awschalom, the Liew Family Professor in Spintronics and Quantum Information at the University of Chicago. The award is presented for outstanding contributions to physics by a single individual who also has exceptional skills in lecturing to diverse audiences.

The society cited Awschalom “for sustained contributions to the physics of spin-coherent materials and systems, including the optical discovery of the spin Hall effect and spin control in quantum nanostructures and non-magnetic semiconductors, as well as his superb lecturing on these topics to diverse audiences.”

The Lilienfeld Prize consists of $10,000, a certificate citing his contributions, plus expenses for three lectures given at an APS meeting, a research university and a predominantly undergraduate institution.

Awschalom became a founding member of UChicago’s Institute for Molecular Engineering last year. He is a pioneer in semiconductor spintronics and quantum information engineering, performing experiments that explore photonics, electronics and semiconductor-based quantum information processing at the nanometer scale.

His many honors include an IBM Outstanding Innovation Award, the Materials Research Society Outstanding Investigator Prize, the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics International Magnetism Prize and Néel Medal, the APS Oliver E. Buckley Prize, the European Physical Society Europhysics Prize, the American Association for the Advancement of Science Newcomb Cleveland Prize and the Materials Research Society David Turnbull Award. Awschalom is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.

Previous recipients of the Lilienfeld Prize award include Stephen Hawking of the University of Cambridge and Alan Guth of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Others with UChicago ties are the late David N. Schramm, the Louis Block Distinguished Service Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics from 1982 until his death in 1997; the late Valentine Telegdi, the Enrico Fermi Distinguished Professor in Physics from 1972 to 1976; Michael Turner, the Bruce V. Rauner Distinguished Service Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics; Frank Wilczek, SB’70, Nobel Laureate in Physics and the Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics, MIT; and Gerald Gabrielse, SM’75, PhD’80, the Leverett Professor of Physics at Harvard University.