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Ken Kingery
IU Office of University Relations

Last modified: Friday, April 25, 2008

IU Physics graduate student wins Lindau Laureate Scholarship

April 25, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- For more than 50 years, roughly two dozen Nobel Prize winners gather annually with 500 promising graduate students from around the world for a unique conference on Lake Constance in Germany. This June, Indiana University is proud to see one of its own young physicists, Brian Page, go to the selective gathering as a Lindau award recipient.

This year marks the 58th Meeting of Nobel Laureates in Lindau. The scientific field of focus rotates each year, with this year's meeting bringing together the best and brightest minds in the world of physics. From June 29 to July 4, students and laureates alike will take part in a series of lectures, discussions and social roundtables. Although scientific presentations will be given, the primary goal of the meeting is to build bridges between scientific fields, across generation gaps and among different nationalities.

"Attendees get to go to Germany to interact with the people who have made the greatest discoveries in the last 50 years and other bright graduate students who have the potential to be colleagues in the future," said Page, a Ph.D. student in physics. "You'd have to be crazy to not want to go."

Another goal of the conference is to provide budding scientists with the best role models the world has to offer. Students hear the different paths laureates took while earning their Nobel Prize and discuss the future of their fields -- and their roles within it -- with those who have walked the same paths.

Page's selection for the award by the selection committee was based less on his research at the IU Cyclotron Facility -- focusing on simulations validating methods for a new sub-detector proposed for installation in the Solenoidal Tracker (STAR) at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) of the Brookhaven National Laboratory -- and more on his academic achievement and application essay. The NSF chose Page primarily based on his essay detailing why he wanted to attend the meeting and a glowing recommendation from his adviser, IU Senior Research Scientist Jim Sowinski.

A couple of months later, his selection as one of 57 Lindau award recipients was confirmed and approved by the conference committee in Germany. The scholarship covers all expenses.

According to Jim Musser, director of the IU Cyclotron Facility, Page is only the second physics student from IU to receive this honor in the past 20 years, and one of only a handful from any IU department. He will join other graduate students from around the world from the competitive field of physics.

"This is a great honor for Brian," said Musser, "and a unique opportunity to interact with a large number of Nobel laureates in one setting."

The conference is expecting 26 Nobel Laureates and 557 young researchers from 67 countries to partake in the meetings, discussions and roundtables, some of which will focus on issues relating to global warming and the energy crisis.

The scholarships that cover all meeting expenses for the 57 American attendees are funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science, the National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences, and Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU).