Fermilab Physicist Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Batavia, Ill.——Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, a Department of Energy National Laboratory, announced today (April 28) that Fermilab physicist William Bardeen has been elected to membership in the prestigious National Academy of Sciences. Bardeen was one of only 60 U.S. scientists from all branches of science elected this year ” in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research”, according to an announcement from the Academy yesterday.

Bardeen, a theorist, is internationally recognized for his work in the area of quantum field theory, the theoretical foundation for the understanding of modern particle physics. He is perhaps best known for his role, with theorist Stephen Adler, in formulating the Adler-Bardeen theorem that concerns anomalies in quantum field theory. Bardeen has also done pioneering work on applications of the theory of the strong force between the subatomic particles called quarks and gluons; and on mechanisms for the origin of mass in which the top quark, discovered at Fermilab in 1995, plays a special role.

“Bill Bardeen has made many wide-ranging contributions in the area of quantum field theory”, said Keith Ellis, head of Fermilab’s Theory Group, “but always with an eye toward their relevance to experiment”.

Bardeen, who joined Fermilab in 1975 after a professorship at Stanford University, comes of pedigreed scientific stock. His father, John Bardeen, a former condensed-matter physicist at the University of Illinois, was a two-time Nobel laureate, and his brother Jim is a theoretical astrophysicist at the University of Washington. Election to the National Academy of Sciences is only the latest in a series of honors for Fermilab’s Bardeen, who in 1996 won the American Physical Society’s Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics and who was elected in 1998 to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Bardeen was one of four physicists elected this year to the National Academy. The Academy’s membership includes about 180 U.S. physicists, of whom Fermilab can claim five: physicist Alvin Tollestrup, Director Emeritus Leon Lederman, soon-to-be Director Michael Witherell, astrophysicist Michael Turner, and now Bardeen.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to the furtherance of science and its use for the general welfare. The Academy was established in 1863 by a congressional act of incorporation, signed by Abraham Lincoln, that calls on the Academy to act as an official advisor to the federal government, upon request, in any matter of science or technology, according to an Academy press release.

Fermilab is a Department of Energy National Laboratory dedicated to frontier research in the field of particle physics. More than 90 percent of the funding for federally sponsored research in particle physics is provided by DOE. Fermilab is operated by Universities Research Association, Inc. under contract with DOE.

For more information, call Fermilab’s Public Affairs Office at (630) 840-3351.

Media contact