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The Light Shines on the Work of Physics Professors   PDF  Print 
Dr. Grobe & Dr. Su
Rainer Grobe, Distinguished Professor of Physics, and Q. Charles Su, Professor of Physics, have been awarded the prestigious 2006 American Physical Society (APS) Undergraduate Research Prize. The highly esteemed award is given annually to only one institution. The award cites Grobe and Su for “their outstanding effort at creating a successful and renowned optical theory program at Illinois State University, and for their exemplary involvement of undergraduates in this research.” The APS Undergraduate Research Prize, started in 1986, includes a $5,000 stipend to the recipients and a $5,000 unrestricted grant for research in physics at Illinois State. “We are thrilled to have been chosen as the recipients of this prestigious national award. This is certainly a great honor for the Department of Physics and for the University as a whole,” said Grobe and Su. “It has been a tremendous pleasure to work with so many talented physics majors on their research projects and to see the impact on their lives.”

The Intense Laser Physics Unit recently resolved the Klein paradox—a conceptual mystery for more than 75 years—with the help of computer simulators. An article by Su, Grobe, and research associate Piotr Krekora titled “Klein Paradox in Spatial and Temporal Resolution” was heralded last year as “an important advance in the understanding of the physical process.”

Professors Grobe and Su
The APS award comes on the heels of a series of success for the Unit, which is co-directed by Professors Grobe and Su. The Unit has been supported by the National Science Foundation since 1996. Thirty-five Physics students have delivered about 150 talks at various conferences, and the Intense Laser Physics Unit has published more than 120 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals that were cited in more than 2,000 articles.