Happer and Ong named to endowed professorships

Princeton NJ -- Two faculty members have been named to endowed professorships by the Board of Trustees.

William Happer
William Happer was named the Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics, and Nai-Phuan Ong was named the Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics. Both appointments were effective Jan. 1, 2003.

A graduate of the University of North Carolina, Happer earned his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1964. He taught at Columbia University for 16 years before returning to Princeton as a faculty member; in 1988, he was named the Class of 1909 Professor of Physics.

From 1991 to 1993, Happer served as director of energy research in the U.S. Department of Energy, overseeing a basic research budget of some $3 billion. He returned to the University, and was named the Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics and chair of the University Research Board two years later in 1995. The board formulates policy for the solicitation, acceptance and administration of research grants and contracts throughout the University and serves as an advisory group to the president on all matters concerning research performed at Princeton.

Happer has maintained an interest in applied as well as basic science, and he has served as a consultant to numerous firms, charitable foundations and government agencies. The author of many scientific papers, he is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. He has received the American Physical Society's Broida Prize and Davisson-Germer Prize and the Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award from the Research and Development Council of New Jersey.

   Nai-Phuan Ong
Ong joined the Princeton faculty in 1985 after teaching for nine years at the University of Southern California. He was an undergraduate at Columbia University, where Happer introduced him to quantum mechanics. Ong earned his Ph.D. in 1976 from the University of California-Berkeley.

Ong's research interests are in the exploration of superconductivity and magnetism in novel materials. He is co-discoverer of a mode of electron motion in one-dimensional metals called sliding charge-density-waves. In high-temperature superconductivity, Ong and his students pioneered a series of experiments showing that the copper oxides constitute a new class of electronic materials distinct from conventional metals. His work has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Office of Naval Research and the U.S. Army Research Office.

The co-holder of a patent for a method for producing superconducting cuprates, Ong is a fellow of the American Physical Society.


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