The American Institute of Physics (AIP) and the American Astronomical Society (AAS) are pleased to announce that astrophysicist Rachel Somerville, Ph.D., has been selected as the 2013 recipient of the Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics, which is given annually to recognize outstanding work in the field.
Her citation reads: “For providing fundamental insights into galaxy formation and evolution using semi-analytic modeling, simulations and observations.” The award will be presented at a future meeting of the AAS.
“I am thrilled and deeply honored to be awarded the Heineman prize,” said Somerville. “I have come to realize that the knowledge we seek is so much more meaningful because we share the process and the insights with friends and colleagues, and this kind of endorsement from my peers is the most gratifying recognition that I can imagine.”
Somerville received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and did postdoctoral work at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and the Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. She earned her bachelor's degree in physics and music from Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Somerville has served on the faculty at the University of Michigan and headed the theory group at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany. She formerly served as a member of the science staff at the Space Telescope Science Institute and research professor at Johns Hopkins University, both in Baltimore, Maryland. She currently holds the George A. and Margaret M. Downsbrough Chair in Astrophysics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Somerville’s work focuses on trying to understand how galaxies form and evolve in a cosmological context, from shortly after the Big Bang until the present day. To do this, she combines data from computer models and simulations with astronomical observations. More recently, she has been trying to understand how the lives of galaxies and their supermassive black holes influence one another.
Somerville also has been a member of several large observational teams, including the Hubble Ultra Deep Field team and the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey (GOODS) team. She currently leads the theory working group for CANDELS, the largest project ever undertaken with the Hubble Space Telescope. She has published more than 200 scholarly papers.
"Dr. Somerville has made great contributions to the fields of physics and astrophysics," said Fred Dylla, AIP executive director and CEO. "At a time when modeling and observations work hand-in-hand to advance research, it’s very appropriate that the Heineman Award recognize achievement at the crossroads of theory and discovery."
"Dr. Somerville is truly deserving of this prestigious award," said Kevin Marvel, AAS executive officer. “Her theoretical and observational studies of galaxies have helped expand our understanding of the formation and evolution of these cosmic building blocks.”
The Heineman Prize is named after Dannie N. Heineman, an engineer, business executive, and philanthropic sponsor of the sciences. The prize was established in 1979 by the Heineman Foundation for Research, Education, Charitable and Scientific Purposes, Inc.
Awarded annually, the prize consists of $10,000 and a certificate citing the contributions made by the recipient plus travel expenses to attend the meeting at which the prize is bestowed.About American Institute of Physics
Charles Blue | Newswise
Eduard Arzt receives highest award from German Materials Society
21.09.2017 | INM - Leibniz-Institut für Neue Materialien gGmbH
Six German-Russian Research Groups Receive Three Years of Funding
12.09.2017 | Hermann von Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy