CONTACT: GARY GALLUZZO
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0009; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Nov. 8, 2000
UI professor is elected AAAS Fellow
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa Physics Professor Amitava Bhattacharjee
is one of 20 physicists worldwide elected to Fellowship in the American Association
for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) during the year 2000.
The rank of Fellow will be formally recognized at a Feb. 17, 2001 presentation
during the AAAS annual meeting in San Francisco. The AAAS award recognizes
members because of their efforts toward advancing science or fostering applications
that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished.
Bhattacharjee, who joined the UI College of Liberal Arts department of physics
and astronomy in 1993, was nominated "for distinguished contributions
to magnetic reconnection and turbulence theory and for the broad application
of these ideas to laboratory, space, and astrophysical plasma phenomena."
Bhattacharjee's research has contributed to a greater understanding of how
magnetic fields evolve dynamically and reconfigure themselves in laboratory
as well as space environments such as the Earth's magnetosphere, the sun and
the interstellar medium. His work has significant implications for cataclysmic
natural events like magnetospheric substorms and solar flares as well as the
nature of fine-scale magnetic turbulence that permeates much of the Universe.
Bhattacharjee has served as associate professor (1987-1993) and assistant
professor (1984-1987) of applied physics, Columbia University; consultant,
National Synchrotron Light Source, Brookhaven National Laboratory (1986-1989);
fellow, faculty of the Plasma Physics Programme, Physical Research Laboratory,
Ahmedabad (1983-1984). In 1993, Bhattacharjee was elected a fellow of the
American Physical Society for his innovative contributions to magnetic reconnection
theory in laboratory and space plasmas. Since his arrival in Iowa in 1993
he has received the James Van Allen Natural Sciences Fellowship (1996) and
the Faculty Scholar Award (1997-2000).
The author of more than 120 refereed publications in professional journals
and 25 book chapters, he is the co-author, with UI Physics Professor Donald
Gurnett, of a textbook, "Introduction to Plasma Physics with Space and
Laboratory Applications," scheduled to be published by Cambridge University
Press next year. He has served widely on Faculty Senate, Faculty Council and
various committees and currently is a member of the College of Liberal Arts
Executive Committee. In addition to conducting teaching and research, he has
supervised 10 doctoral theses and 10 postdoctoral fellows.
Bhattacharjee earned his bachelor's degree in physics from the Indian Institute
of Technology, Kharagpur in 1975 and a master's in physics as well as a master's
in nuclear engineering from the University of Michigan in 1976 and 1978, respectively.
He earned a master's and doctorate in astrophysical sciences from Princeton
University in 1979 and 1981, respectively.
Bhattacharjee joins 250 other AAAS members elected to the rank of fellow
in 2000. Founded in 1848, the AAAS is the world's largest federation of scientific
and engineering societies, with 276 affiliated societies and more than 143,000