The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has awarded grants to support sixteen U.S. experimental physicists. Each investigator will receive $1,250,000 over the next five years to advance the scientific frontier in experimental physics. These awards provide an opportunity for outstanding scientists to pursue transformative research during a critical time in their careers directly following attainment of tenure. This funding allows physicists, during some of their most creative years, to concentrate on their research and build collaborative relationships that enable innovative discoveries.
The first cohort’s research will explore a broad range of open scientific questions that include quantized vortex lines in superfluid liquid helium, optical properties of nanostructures in butterfly wings, infrasound signatures of tornados, and correlated atoms and molecules trapped in large arrays formed by optical tweezers.
“The breadth and scientific audacity of experiments proposed by these individuals is stunning and inspiring.”
Remarked Theodore Hodapp program director for the Experimental Physics Investigators Initiative. “Stunning as well, is the creativity and capabilities of these scientists.”
The foundation will also support the work of this and future cohorts by providing equipment grants and hosting convenings to share new ideas and encourage collaborations. Central to the effort is supporting the investigators as they strive to make their research groups inclusive and advance equity in their departments.
Catherine Mader, program officer in the Experimental Physics Investigators Initiative, described the foundation’s alignment this way: “It’s critical to support not just those who have had opportunities and resources to excel, but to support adoption of practices that will expand access to these opportunities in the future. Helping these researchers find resources and adopt practices to enhance equity and inclusion is an important way the foundation can help all group members produce their best science."
Each of these investigators is pushing the boundaries of what is known and what is possible. While we expect some amazing (and perhaps unexpected) outcomes, we also know there will be dead ends and difficulties. As a scientific advisor said to the foundation team as the initiative was being developed, “This is an opportunity to allow creative individuals to tackle the problem they were born to work on.” With this new funding stream, the investigators will have the opportunity to learn if the problem they yearn to tackle can be solved.
2022 Experimental Physics Investigators
- James Battat, Wellesley College
- Wesley Campbell, University of California, Los Angeles
- Brian Elbing, Oklahoma State University
- Manuel Endres, California Institute of Technology
- Wei Guo, Florida State University
- Erik Henriksen, Washington University in St. Louis
- David Hsieh, California Institute of Technology
- Marcus Hultmark, Princeton University
- Kyle Leach, Colorado School of Mines
- Kin Fai Mak, Cornell University
- Kater Murch, Washington University in St. Louis
- Kang-Kuen Ni, Harvard University
- Laurene Tetard, University of Central Florida
- Jairo Velasco Jr., University of California, Santa Cruz
- Abigail Vieregg, University of Chicago
- Nanfang Yu, Columbia University
The next round of funding for investigators is now open, please visit the initiative website or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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