PU shield
PWB logo




Physics professor Curtis Callan has been named a winner of the 2004 Dirac Medal for his fundamental contributions to particle physics and string theory.

The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy, awarded the Dirac Medal to Callan and James Bjorken, professor of physics at Stanford University, for theoretical investigations they conducted in the 1960s and 1970s regarding a phenomenon called ''deep inelastic scattering.'' Their work was instrumental in turning experimental results on high-energy collisions between electrons and protons into an explanation of the nature of the strong interactions (the force that holds nuclei together).

Callan also was cited for more recent theoretical contributions to the field of string theory, which attempts to provide a unified theory of all particles and forces in nature.

The Dirac Medal is awarded annually to honor ''significant contributions to theoretical physics and mathematics,'' according to the citation from the Abdus Salam center. The center established the award in 1985 in honor of the English physicist Paul Dirac. Medalists receive a $5,000 prize and present a lecture in Trieste.

Susan Wheeler, lecturer in the Council of the Humanities and creative writing, has been named one of two recipients of the 2004 Iowa Poetry Prize.

Awarded annually by the University of Iowa Press, the Iowa Poetry Prize is one of the leading national poetry awards. The acclaimed competition is open to new as well as established poets. The other winner this year is Megan Johnson.

Wheeler's fourth collection of poetry, ''Ledger,'' will be published by the University of Iowa Press in the spring of 2005. Her first book of poetry, ''Bag 'o' Diamonds'' (University of Georgia Press, 1993), received the Norma Farber First Book Award of the Poetry Society of America and was short-listed for the Los Angeles Times Book Award. Her second, ''Smokes,'' won the Four Way Books Award in 1998. Her third collection, ''Source Codes,'' was published by SALT Publishing in 2001, and her novel, ''Record Palace,'' will be published by Graywolf Press in 2005.

Wheeler's other awards include the Witter Bynner Prize for Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, two Pushcart Prizes, and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Her work has appeared in seven editions of the Scribner anthology, ''Best American Poetry,'' as well as several other publications.