Scoles selected for Franklin Medal

March 2, 2006 10:55 a.m.

Giacinto Scoles, the Donner Professor of Science and professor of chemistry at Princeton, has been named a recipient of the 2006 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics.

He shares the prize, which will be presented at an April 27 ceremony in Philadelphia, with J. Peter Toennies, associate professor of physics at the University of Göttingen in Germany.

The two were cited for their "development of new techniques for studying molecules, including unstable species that could not be examined otherwise, by embedding them in extremely small and ultra-cold droplets of helium. Their work also led to a better understanding of the extraordinary properties of superfluid helium, such as its ability to flow without friction."

The Franklin Institute Awards are among the oldest and most prestigious comprehensive science awards in the world. They are intended to recognize individuals whose innovation has benefited humanity, advanced science, launched new fields of inquiry and deepened the understanding of the universe.

Scoles joined the Princeton chemistry department in 1987 after teaching at the University of Genova and the University of Trento in Italy, the University of Leiden in the Netherlands and the University of Waterloo in Canada. He also is affiliated with the Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials. He teaches part time at the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste, Italy, and is a long-term collaborator at the Elettra Synchrotron Laboratory in Trieste.

Scoles is an elected fellow of the Royal Society of the United Kingdom and an elected foreign member of the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences of the Netherlands. He received the Lippincott Award of the Optical Society of America, the Coblentz Society and the Society for Applied Spectroscopy in 1995, and earned the American Physical Society's E.K. Plyler Prize for Molecular Spectroscopy in 2003.