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Mikael Rechtsman receives Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in physics

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24 February 2016

Mikael RechtsmanMikael Rechtsman, an assistant professor of physics at Penn State University, has been honored with an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in recognition of his research accomplishments. The Sloan Foundation states that "the fellowships honor early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements and potential identify them as rising stars, the next generation of scientific leaders." Candidates for Sloan Research Fellowships are nominated by fellow scientists and the Fellows are selected by a panel of senior scholars for their "independent research accomplishments, creativity, and potential to become a leader in his or her field."

In his research, Rechtsman uses both experimental and theoretical approaches to understand photonics, the science of light. As an example, along with colleagues, Rechtsman recently developed a "photonic topological insulator" with the goal of allowing light to be perfectly transported through complex materials -- where normally random scattering would massively disrupt its flow. Rechtsman's research can be applied to devices that transport information using photons and to the development of extremely small optical components such as optical waveguides, diodes, and splitters. These can be used across a number of industries, including computing and telecommunications. He has published papers in a number of peer-reviewed journals including Nature, Science, Nature Photonics, Nature Materials, Physical Review Letters, Physical Review X, and Optics Letters.

Prior to joining the faculty at Penn State, Rechtsman was an Azrieli Postdoctoral Fellow at Technion - Israel Institute of Technology from 2010 to 2015 and Courant Instructor at New York Univeristy's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences from 2008 to 2010. He earned a doctoral degree in physics at Princeton University in 2008 and a bachelor's degree in physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2003.


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