Biesiada wins APS prize for graduate work

Jan. 23, 2008, 4:43 p.m.

Jed Biesiada, who earned his Ph.D. in physics from Princeton in 2007, has been awarded the American Physical Society's 2008 Mitsuyoshi Tanaka Dissertation Award in Experimental Particle Physics.

The highly competitive award recognizes exceptional young scientists who have performed original doctoral thesis work of outstanding scientific quality in the area of experimental particle physics.

Biesiada's work at Princeton focused on the BaBar experiment at the Stanford Linear Accelerator, which seeks to answer fundamental questions about why matter exists in the universe. He was advised by A.J. Stewart Smith, Princeton's dean for research and the Class of 1909 Professor of Physics, and James Olsen, assistant professor of physics.

Biesada's doctoral research has opened up new areas of investigation for BaBar, a collaborative research effort that Smith directed for several years. In 2001, the BaBar experiment uncovered a rare but critical loss of symmetry in the behavior of subatomic particles, culminating a 37-year search for further examples of the profound phenomenon of charge-parity, or CP, violation. CP violation is required to avoid the complete annihilation of matter and antimatter after they were created equally in the Big Bang.

"Jed's work has opened a new path of discovery to CP violating effects beyond the standard model," Smith said. "Of the students I've seen over nearly 40 years, Jed's deep knowledge of physics, experimental acuity and leadership really stand out."

For his final year at Princeton, Biesiada was awarded an honorific fellowship by the Graduate School, which provides funding to students displaying the highest scholarly excellence in graduate work.

Biesiada, a native of Poland, is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley. He currently is a Chamberlain Fellow at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.