Marianna Safronova, associate professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Delaware, has received the American Physical Society's (APS) Woman Physicist of the Month award for August in recognition of her accomplishments as a researcher and mentor.
The award program was created "to highlight exceptional female physicists," according to the society's Committee on the Status of Women in Physics. Open to teachers and students as well as research physicists, the award recognizes "female physicists who have positively impacted other individuals' lives and careers."
Last December, Safronova was selected as an APS fellow, an honor that is awarded to the top one-half of 1 percent of its members. The society cited her innovative development of high-accuracy first-principles methods of computational atomic structure and dynamics and their application to optical atomic clocks, quantum computing with neutral atoms and tests of fundamental symmetries.
Earlier last year, Safronova and colleagues gained widespread media attention when they reported on their atomic clock research at a national conference. The researchers devised a new calculation to aid ultra-precise timekeeping, findings that could lead to the development of an atomic clock that loses only a second in about 32 billion years — more than twice the estimated age of the universe.
The APS website announcing Safronova's award calls her "a dynamic researcher who, since 2010, has been publishing one paper every five weeks." It notes that, "In addition to her spectacularly productive scientific work, she has been an effective mentor of women students," with her first four graduate students all earning doctoral degrees and going on to hold research positions.
To read more about Safronova and previous recipients of the Woman Physicist of the Month award, visit the website.