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Release: Oct. 28, 2002

UI researcher named 2002-03 distinguished lecturer by American Physical Society

John Goree, professor of physics and astronomy in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has been selected by the American Physical Society's (APS) Division of Plasma Physics as one of six Distinguished Lecturers in Plasma Physics for 2002-2003. As an APS Distinguished Lecturer, he will travel across the country lecturing at institutions of higher learning under the Plasma Physics Travel Grant Program funded through the U.S. Department of Energy.

This is the second consecutive year that a UI researcher has received the APS honor, as Robert Merlino, professor of physics and astronomy, was named an APS Distinguished Lecturer in Plasma Physics for 2001-02.

Goree, who earned his doctorate from Princeton University in 1985 and joined the UI faculty the same year, has research interests in the field of experimental plasma physics.

In May 2002, he received a $700,000 NASA grant to use the International Space Station (ISS) to study the motion of waves through crystalline lattices -- the patterns of regularly arranged atoms that comprise such materials as iron. His experiment, "Optically-excited waves in 3-D dusty plasmas," will be carried aboard the ISS sometime after 2006.

His NASA grant and a related proposal (both written by Goree and Professor Alexander Piel of the University of Kiel, Germany) were ranked by peers as first and second among some 117 proposals submitted by scientists from around the world in the first such international competition of its kind. Goree's ISS experiment may provide scientists with a better understanding of how a crystalline lattice conducts sound waves produced by a supersonic disturbance, similar to the sonic shock created by a fighter jet moving through the air.

In March, Goree, together with experimenters from Germany, Russia, and France, conducted the first physical sciences experiment to be done aboard the ISS. The purpose of this Plasma Crystal Experiment was to observe how crystals form in space, free of Earth's gravity.