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Quantum Optics Research Garners APS Award

A recent physics graduate from the Rochester Institute of Technology has received an award from the American Physical Society (APS) for his quantum optics research.

Hao Shi, a native of China, is a 2013 graduate of RIT's physics program and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in physics at Cornell University, focusing on single-molecule biophysics. He is one of two recipients of APS's LeRoy Apker Award, which recognizes outstanding undergraduate achievement in physics in the US.

The Apker Award recognizes Shi's research in theoretical quantum and optical physics, and cites his work on "Torsional Optomechanics: A Dialogue Between Spinning Photons and Twisting Oscillators." Shi explored the quantum dynamics of optomechanical systems with his RIT research adviser and mentor, professor Mishkat Bhattacharya, and his secondary mentor, professor Edwin Hach III.

Shi submitted five papers as an undergraduate and is the first author on papers published in the Physical Review A, Journal of Modern Optics, and the Journal of Physics B. He is a co-author on a paper published in the American Journal of Physics and another submitted to the Journal of the Optical Society of America A.

The $5000 award is presented annually to two students, one from a Ph.D.-granting institution and another from a non-Ph.D.-granting institution. This year's other recipient is Guy Geyer Marcus of Wesleyan University.

Marcus was recognized for his work, "Rotational Dynamics of Anisotropic Particles in Turbulence: Measurements of Lagrangian Vorticity and the Effects of Alignment with the Velocity Gradient." He graduated from Wesleyan in May and is pursuing his Ph.D. in physics at Johns Hopkins University. He will continue working on condensed-matter physics, most likely with a theoretical or computational bent.

The awards will be presented during a society meeting in Madison, Wis., in June 2014. As Shi's nominating department, RIT's School of Physics and Astronomy will also receive a certificate and $5000 to support undergraduate research. The award was established in 1978 by Jean Dickey Apker in memory of her husband, an experimental physicist at General Electric Research Laboratory known for his work on the photoelectric effect in semiconductors and the photoelectric properties of potassium iodide.

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