Indiana University scientist named American Physical Society fellow

Indiana University professor J. Timothy Londergan has been elected as a fellow in the Division of Nuclear Physics of the American Physical Society, the pre-eminent organization of physicists in the United States.

Timothy J. Lundergan

J. Timothy Londergan

An emeritus professor in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Physics, Londergan was honored for his “work on approximate parton of symmetries, such as charge and flavor symmetry, and for models of the scattering behavior of quarks and hadrons.”

A symmetry is a physical or mathematical feature that remains unchanged or preserved throughout a transformation. Quarks are subatomic particles that come in a number of types, or “flavors,” and combinations, including hadrons, which are composed of three quarks. Scattering refers to particle-particle collisions between these objects.

As a physicist, Londergan is particularly interested in “broken symmetries” of quarks, which provide direct evidence for “non-perturbative” quark effects, or effects that cannot be understood with standard mathematical methods. Broken symmetries are significant since they can reveal new insights about the nature of these subatomic particles.

A former Rhodes Scholar, Londergan holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester and a Ph.D. from Oxford University. He served as chair of the IU Bloomington Department of Physics from 1990 to 1997 and director of the Herman B Wells Scholars Program from 2003 to 2013. He also served three terms as a director of the IU Nuclear Theory Center.

Londergan’s research was supported by the National Science Foundation from 1976 to 2016. He was also involved for nearly 30 years in NSF-sponsored summer research designed to provide undergraduates experience analyzing data from facilities such as Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York and Jefferson National Laboratory in Virginia.

No more than one-half of 1 percent of American Physical Society members are elected fellows each year. New fellows are nominated by their peers for outstanding contributions to the field, including original research and publication, innovative applications to science and technology, exceptional teaching and outreach, or esteemed leadership and service to the society.

A complete list of the 2016 fellows is available in the November issue of APS News.