BU physics professor elected member of National Academy of Sciences


H. Eugene Stanley chosen as one of 72 new U.S. members during Academy’s annual meeting

(Boston, Mass.) -- H. Eugene Stanley, a professor of physics at Boston University and director of its Center for Polymer Studies, has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). The election, held during the Academy's 141st annual meeting today, added 72 new members from U.S.-based institutions and 18 new foreign associates from 13 countries to the NAS roster.

Election to membership in the Academy is considered one of the highest honors that can be accorded a U.S. scientist or engineer. Individuals are elected in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. The current group of new members brings the number of active Academy members to 1,949. The new foreign associates bring the number in this NAS body to 351.

Stanley, a scientist of international repute, has extensively researched physical phenomena, work that has contributed to the understanding of disordered systems, aggregation, phase transitions, branched polymers, gels, granular matter, percolation, and the structure of liquid water. His research has produced new theories, such as that explaining the spontaneous self-stratification of granular mixtures, and new models, such as his percolation model for water, which links the degree to which changes in the physical characteristics of liquid water result from local changes in its physical structure.

In addition to his contributions to physics, Stanley's research has made a significant mark on other fields.

Stanley has applied statistical physics to questions as diverse as heart-rate fluctuations, the nature of Alzheimer's disease, and distinguishing coding and junk DNA. Recent work has produced statistical models of how stock market fluctuations mimic those found in physical phenomena such as earthquakes and how any sort of network -- from hydrogen-bond networks in water to terrorist networks -- can function or can break down.

NAS, a private, non-profit society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, is dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Established by Congressional charter in 1893, the Academy has a mandate to advise the federal government on matters scientific and technical. The Academy is based in Washington, D.C.

The Physics Department at Boston University, part of the College of Arts and Sciences, provides opportunities for research in experimental high-energy physics and astrophysics, experimental medium-energy physics, experimental condensed-matter physics, molecular biophysics, theoretical high-energy particle physics and cosmology, theoretical condensed-matter physics, polymer physics, and statistical mechanics.

Scientists at the University's Center for Polymer Studies research polymer systems at the microscopic level, focusing on describing the basic spatial configurations of polymer molecules so as to better predict the macroscopic behavior of polymers.

Boston University, with an enrollment of more than 29,000 in its 17 schools and colleges, is the fourth-largest independent university in the United States.

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