Pioneer Physicist Takes Joint Tenured Position
An expert in condensed matter physics has accepted the joint posts of Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics in the Division of Applied Sciences (DAS) and Professor of Physics in the Department of Physics.
Formerly affiliated with AT&T's Bell Laboratories in New Jersey, Jene Golovchenko is known throughout the field for his pioneer research on surface properties using tunneling electron microscopy and X-ray standing wave methods.
Golovchenko's appointment comes in the wake of the recent promotion of Associate Professor Robert M. Westervelt to another joint tenure position in the Department of Physics and the Applied Physics Division. Westervelt also works in the field of Condensed matter and semiconductors surfaces.
Physics professors said yesterday that both Golovchenko and Westervelt will be working in an increasingly active field at Harvard.
The electron tunneling microscope, invented five years ago in Switzerland, uses electron currents to measure the location of atoms on a surface, said Dean of the Division of Applied Sciences Paul C. Martin.
"Understanding the surface structure of semi-conductors in the root of understanding micro--electronics," Clowes Professor of Science Henry Ehrenreich said.
Applying nuclear physics techniques to his study of surfaces, Golovchenko will also use the high energy proton accelerator currently being constructed in Gordon McKay Laboratories. The facility is part of a joint Harvard and MIT project to construct the first physics research center of this kind in New England, Martin said.
"His appointment fits enormously well with this new facility," Ehrenreich said. Ehrenreich added that the appointment of Golovchenko and the project with MIT were "independent butmutually supporting events."
"[Golovchenko's work] is relevant to theknowledge one needs to develop a cutting edge inmodern technology," said Ehrenreich. "We [theUnited States] have always been leaders as far asinnovation is concerned. We have to maintain ouredge in the world."
The construction of the accelerator was not afactor in his decision to join Harvard's faculty,but "it was icing on the cake," Golovchenko said.
In preparation for Golovchenko's X-ray andelectron tunneling experiments, JeffersonLaboratory--which Professor of Physics Isaac F.Silvera said is the oldest Physics laboratory inthe country--will be renovated by July.
Golovchenko, who has worked at Bell for thepast 10 years, will also teach an undergraduateintroductory course in quantum mechanics