David S. Weiss, professor of physics at Penn State, has been selected to receive the title of Distinguished Professor of Physics in recognition of his exceptional record of teaching, research, and service to the University community. The honor is designated by the Office of the President of Penn State based on the recommendations of colleagues and the dean of the Eberly College of Science.
Weiss's research involves experiments with laser-cooled atoms in optical lattices and other light traps. His research group applies this technology in several directions. They are working to develop a quantum computer based on neutral atoms. They use cold atoms to make precise measurements of fundamental constants and to test fundamental symmetries. They also use atoms as model systems to address issues in atomic physics, condensed-matter physics, quantum mechanics, and statistical mechanics.
Weiss was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2019. He was elected to serve as chair of the Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (DAMOP) of the American Physical Society (APS) in 2016 and was named a Fellow of the APS in 2007. Weiss won a Penn State Faculty Scholar Medal for Physical Science in 2007, a Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering in 1997, a Sloan Research Fellowship in 1997, and a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award in 1996.
Weiss earned a bachelor's degree in physics, summa cum laude, at Amherst College in 1985, and earned master's and doctoral degrees in physics at Stanford University in 1988 and 1993, respectively. He was a postdoctoral Fellow at l'Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, France, from 1993 to 1994 and an assistant professor at the University of California at Berkeley from 1994 to 2001. He joined the faculty at Penn State in 2001 as associate professor of physics and was promoted to professor in 2005.