- Number 328 |
- January 10, 2011
Experimentalist first to accept Isgur Fellowship
Pawel Nadel-Turonski is making history at DOE's Jefferson Lab. He’s the first experimentalist to receive a prestigious Nathan Isgur Fellowship, which had gone only to theorists since its inception in 2002. The fellowship is named in honor of the chief scientist at the Dept. of Energy's Jefferson Lab, who died in 2001.
Born in Lodz, Poland, Nadel-Turonski moved with his parents to Sweden as a child. "I was always interested in physics," he recalled, "but also many other things. The direction I would take was not always obvious."
He remained unsure about his major even as he started college, but he eventually settled on physics. "You can read about history or philosophy on your own," he noted with a smile. "But you can't have an accelerator in your basement."
After earning his undergraduate degree in physics from Chalmers University of Technology in Goteborg, where his family lived, he continued his education at Uppsala University. His thesis adviser was Leif Nilsson, then director of The Svedberg Laboratory, where he took part in numerous experiments. While Nadel-Turonski enjoyed working at a small hadronic lab like TSL, it also presented some challenges.
"On one experiment I was trying to prepare for, we needed some silicon strip detectors from a company in Britain, and we only needed three," he recalled with a laugh. "Unfortunately, at the same time, Fermilab ordered 1,000, and we had to wait and wait. Finally, I had to actually go and ask for our detectors. It wasn’t quite begging, but almost."
Nadel-Turonski has been involved in the CEBAF Large Acceptance Spectrometer (CLAS) Collaboration in Jefferson Lab's Hall B since 2004. He was a postdoc at the George Washington University for three years and then spent two years at the Catholic University of America before accepting the Nathan Isgur Fellowship in October 2009. His fellowship work includes several experiments in addition to being on the team planning and developing an Electron-Ion Collider (EIC).
Nadel-Turonski is the spokesperson and primary contact for the E06-103 experiment. The experiment used polarized photons to probe the neutron inside an isotope of hydrogen called the deuteron. Unlike the primary hydrogen atom, which has one proton in its nucleus, the deuteron contains a proton and a neutron. It "was the largest experiment by data volume carried out at Jefferson Lab to date, and forms an important part of the Hall B N* program, in which Nathan Isgur had a major interest," he noted.
"This is a very good opportunity for me," he added. "It's a good chance to look around and do a lot of things, and I like the people very much."
In fact, working around people is part of what he enjoys most about being an experimentalist. "It has a social dimension," he noted. "You cannot do it alone.
There's more information than one person can deal with, so it always must be a collaborative effort. It's essential for the success of a project to get everyone involved. I've made a lot of good friends."Named in honor of Jefferson Lab's chief scientist who died in 2001, the Nathan Isgur Fellowship is for an initial three-year period, with the possibility of a two-year extension, at a salary comparable with that of a university assistant professor. It is supported through the Jefferson Science Associates Initiatives Fund program and is intended to further the career of an outstanding young scientist.
Submitted by DOE's Jefferson Lab