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TWO OHIO STATE PHYSICISTS ELECTED FELLOWS

By Pam Frost Gorder

The American Physical Society (APS) recently honored Brian Winer and Dongping Zhong with the rank of Fellow.

The Ohio State University physicists were recognized by their peers for outstanding contributions to the discipline.

“Brian and Dongping exemplify the excellence we have come to expect from our highly rated Department of Physics,” said Matt Platz, Dean of the College of Biological Sciences and Mathematical and Physical Sciences. “Their election as fellows is a significant national validation of the high quality of their work and we could not be more proud of their accomplishments.”

Brian Winer
Dongping Zhong

Winer is professor of physics and director of the university’s Honors Collegium. He designed the electronics that enabled physicists to sort through the millions of proton-antiproton collisions at the Tevatron accelerator at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Winer’s technology helps identify the most interesting collisions, which can be used to explore the sub-atomic world.  In addition, Winer played a major role in identifying an elusive particle, the top quark, in 1995.

He was thus honored for his “leadership, direction and contributions in the discovery of the top quark and his development of state-of-the-art high speed trigger electronics which maximized the physics potential of Run II at the Tevatron.”

Winer continues to work on other particle accelerators, including the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland. He also sorts through high-energy particles from the cosmos, as part of the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope team.

Zhong is the Robert Smith Associate Professor of Physics, and associate professor in the departments of chemistry and biochemistry. He uses ultra-fast pulses of laser light to illuminate biological reactions that happen too fast to be seen with the naked eye. In 2006, he obtained the first-ever observations of how water molecules interact with proteins.

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“Brian and Dongping exemplify the excellence we have come to expect from our highly rated Department of Physics. Their election as fellows is a significant national validation of the high quality of their work and we could not be more proud of their accomplishments.”


He was honored for his “outstanding contributions to biophysics, by brilliantly integrating techniques of molecular biology and state-of-the-art laser physics to elucidate the mechanism of macromolecular hydration and the impact of protein structure on dynamics.”

Ultimately, Zhong’s work may reveal how water helps enable life-supporting biological functions such as protein folding and enzyme catalysis.

The APS Fellowship Program was created to recognize members who made advances in knowledge through original research and publication, or made significant and innovative contributions in the application of physics to science and technology. They may also have made significant contributions to the teaching of physics or service and participation in the activities of the society.

Election to APS Fellowship is limited to no more than one half of one percent of the membership; Ohio State currently boasts 28 Fellows.

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