NIST Physicist Deborah Jin to Receive Sigma Xi's Top Honor

Physicist Deborah S. Jin, a Fellow of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and JILA, a joint institute of NIST and the University of Colorado at Boulder, will receive Sigma Xi's 2009 William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement, the research society announced this week.

The Procter Prize, the society's highest honor, has been presented annually since 1950 to an outstanding scientist or engineer who is known for effective communication of complex ideas. Past recipients include prominent researchers in diverse fields, such as physics Nobel Laureate Murray Gell-Mann, animal behaviorist Jane Goodall, geologist Stephen Jay Gould, and oceanographer Robert Ballard.

In the citation, Sigma Xi noted that "Jin's technical innovations in the field of ultra cold Fermionic (atomic) gases have led to discoveries that define this new area of physics research. Her research has been described as the crucial first step in developing superconductors that work at room temperature, which could lead to faster computers and other advances. A MacArthur Fellow, Jin is one of only a handful of women physicists elected to the National Academy of Sciences."

The Procter Prize and the research society's other top annual awards will be presented at Sigma Xi's annual meeting in the fall. Additional information is available at


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