Ana Maria Rey has been named the winner of the 2017 Alexander Cruickshank Award in Atomic Physics by the Gordon Research Conferences. The award recognizes international leadership and impact in the organization’s main areas of biological, chemical, and physical sciences. It was presented to Rey by the Atomic Physics Gordon Research Conference “From Quantum Control to Tests of Fundamental Physics,” held on June 11–16 in Salve Regina University, Newport, Rhode Island. Rey was nominated by Conference Chair Mariana Safronova.
The big surprise for Rey came at the conference when Safronova announced Rey had won the award. Safronova highlighted the number of people who had received the award in atomic physics, including Nobel Physics Laureates and other internationally prominent scientists.
"She said it was her honor to give me the award," Rey recalled, who realized at that moment just how selective the honor was.
Past winners in the physics category have included Nobel Laureates Eric Cornell of JILA and Dave Wineland of NIST Boulder. Other past winners with ties to JILA include Immanuel Bloch (Ludwig-Maximilians University and Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics), Mikhail Lukin (Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and Harvard University), and 1997 Nobel Laureate Claude Cohen-Tannoudji (University of Paris).