(Dec. 20, 2013) — Susan Gardner, professor of physics at the University of Kentucky, has been elected a fellow of the American Physical Society, the nation's preeminent organization of physicists.
Selection as a fellow of the APS demonstrates exceptional accomplishments and contributions to the field of physics. Less than half of 1 percent of the APS membership receive the honor each year.
Gardner is being honored for her "pioneering work in strongly interacting physics and its interplay with weak decays and for numerous insights into important tests of CP violation and the Standard Model of particle interactions."
Her nomination was supported by her academic peers in the Topical Group for Precision Measurements and Fundamental Constants (GPMFC). The GPMFC collects APS members from a broad range of disciplines within the APS (atomic, molecular, optical, nuclear, particle, gravitational and astrophysics) who have an interest in discovery science realized through precision measurements.
Gardner's research, in large part, concerns the study of low-energy processes which could reveal the presence of physics beyond the Standard Model (SM) of particle interactions. In this area, she has focused on the manner in which strong-interaction effects can impact tests of the nature of the weak interaction, particularly through tests which probe how matter and antimatter interact differently. In theories with CP symmetry, matter and antimatter interact in just the same way; thus an interaction difference reflects CP violation.
Gardner has also described how new sorts of experiments could yield new probes of CP violation.
"The SM leaves many questions unanswered," Gardner said. "It cannot address the observed preponderance of matter over antimatter, nor the nature of dark matter and dark energy. The hope is that identifying the existence of physics beyond the SM, and determining its specific nature, could help us unravel the answers to these puzzles."
Sumit Das, chair of the Department of Physics, congratulated Gardner on the recognition and praised her work.
"Susan Gardner's research has brought our department to the forefront of research in precision tests of the Standard Model. This honor will be a great boost for us," Das said.
Gardner joins nine other APS fellows in the UK Department of Physics and Astronomy: Joseph Brill, Gang Cao, Michael Cavagnero, Lance DeLong, Michael Eides, Keh-Fei Liu, Nicholas Martin, Ganpathy Murthy and Joseph Straley. Two active emerti faculty, Keith Macadam and Marcus McEllistrem, are also fellows in the society.
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