Temple Times Online Edition
    DECEMBER 8, 2005
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Levis, Lyyra elected as fellows of American Physical Society

Four College of Science and Technology faculty have been elected in the past two years

Chemistry chair Robert Levis and physics professor Marjatta Lyyra have been elected as 2005 Fellows of the American Physical Society. They become the third and fourth faculty members of the College of Science and Technology to achieve this honor, joining physics professors Rongjia Tao and Zein-Eddine Meziani, who were elected 2004 Fellows of APS.

The APS Fellowship program was created to recognize members who have made advances in knowledge through original research and publication, or have made significant and innovative contributions in the application of physics to science and technology. They may also be recognized for significant contributions to the teaching of physics or for service and participation in the activities of the society. Each year, no more than one-half of 1 percent of the then-current membership of the society is recognized by their peers for election to the status of Fellow in APS.

“On behalf of Temple University, I want to congratulate Robert Levis, Marjatta Lyyra, Rongjia Tao and Zein-Eddine Meziani on being elected Fellows of the American Physical Society,” Provost Ira M. Schwartz said. “Their election by their peers to this prestigious honor serves as evidence of the world-class reputation that the faculty of the College of Science and Technology enjoys throughout the academic and the scientific communities, and will further enhance Temple’s expanding research enterprise.”

Levis, who joined Temple’s chemistry faculty from Wayne State University in 2002, is a pioneer in laser-based chemistry, adaptive photonics and bio-photonics. As director of Temple’s Center for Advanced Photonics Research, he pioneered techniques to use ultra-fast lasers to detect chemical threats and currently is leading a DARPA-sponsored effort to create cyclic ozone. Levis is a member of Temple’s Million Dollar Research Awards Club.

Lyyra joined the physics department faculty in 1991 from the University of Iowa, where she developed the triple resonance laser spectroscopic technique. Her group has used this technique in pioneering work on coherence and quantum interference effects such as Electromagnetically Induced Transparency and Autler-Townes splitting in molecular systems. In the context of these studies, her group currently is focused on developing a novel high-resolution quadruple resonance laser spectroscopic technique. A member of the Million Dollar Research Awards Club, she also is an adjunct member of the chemistry faculty.

A lifetime member of APS, Tao was elected a Fellow in 2004 by APS’ Division of Condensed Matter Physics for “fundamental contributions to the development of electrorheological and magnetorheological fluids and pioneering contributions to the discovery of a new property of superconductors — electric-field induced formation of superconducting balls.” His pioneering research has led to three patents and currently is being used in the automotive industry, medical and exercise equipment, and construction. He joined Temple’s physics faculty in 2000 from Southern Illinois University.

A particle physicist, Meziani was elected a Fellow in 2004 by APS’ Division of Nuclear Physics for his investigative work into nucleon and nuclear physics at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility and the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. Also a member of Million Dollar Research Awards Club, he has become one of the leading researchers in trying to understand the spin (intrinsic magnetism) structure of the proton and the neutron in terms of its constituents, namely quarks and gluons.

Watch for more in-depth profiles of these researchers in future editions of the Temple Times during the spring semester.

- By Preston M. Moretz