Berkeley Physics Assistant Professors Heather Gray and Michael Zaletel are among 9 young faculty members at UC Berkeley who have been awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship, an honor given yearly to the brightest up-and-coming scientists in the United States and Canada.
The nine are among 126 fellowships across North America announced today (Wednesday, Feb. 12) by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Winners receive a two-year fellowship, which can be used to advance their research.
Since the first Sloan Research Fellowships were awarded in 1955, 282 UC Berkeley faculty members have received the honor.
“To receive a Sloan Research Fellowship is to be told by your fellow scientists that you stand out among your peers,” said foundation president Adam F. Falk in an announcement. “A Sloan Research Fellow is someone whose drive, creativity and insight makes them a researcher to watch.”
Heather Gray, an assistant professor of physics, is an experimental particle physicist working on the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider outside Geneva, Switzerland. Her primary interest is the Higgs boson, the most recently discovered elementary particle. She focuses on how it interacts with different types of quarks, including top, bottom and charm quarks.
Michael Zaletel, an assistant professor of physics and the Thomas and Alison Schneider Chair, focuses on theoretical condensed matter physics and its intersection with quantum information and computational approaches. He aims to understand the behavior of electrons in quantum materials where entanglement and the strong interactions between electrons conspire to form new phases of matter.
Both Gray and Zaletel are also staff scientists or affiliates at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.