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  • Physicist Wins MacArthur 'Genius' Grant
Oct 2003
BOULDER, Colo., Oct. 15 -- Deborah Jin, 34, a physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder, Colo., and adjoint assistant professor of physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU-Boulder), has been named a 2003 winner of a $500,000 MacArthur Fellowship, commonly known as the "genius grant." The fellowship is awarded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation of Chicago.

Jin is a fellow of JILA, a laboratory run by NIST and CU-Boulder. In 1999, Jin and graduate student Brian DeMarco created a new quantum gas that was named one of the top 10 scientific advances of the year by the journal Science. They cooled a vapor of quantum particles to a temperature less than a millionth of a degree above absolute zero using lasers and magnetic traps. The result was a quantum state in which atoms behave like waves. Jin and DeMarco's research is a step toward a better understanding of fermions -- basic building blocks of matter -- and may lead toward a new generation of atomic clocks and atom lasers.

Jin is among 24 new MacArthur Fellows for 2003. Each will receive $500,000 in "no strings attached" support over the next five years. The MacArthur Fellows Program is designed to emphasize the importance of the creative individual in society. Fellows are selected for the originality and creativity of their work and their potential to do more in the future.

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