I’m very late on this, but still I wanted to give a shout out to Guy Geyer Marcus ’13, who recently won the Apker Prize, which Prof. Brian Stewart tells me “is the highest award for undergraduate research in physics.” Wade Hsu ’10 won the prize in 2010, while working closely with Prof. Francis Starr. Wesleyan students compete against all the big research institutions, and, to quote Prof. Stewart, “to have a second award within just a few years is a real tribute to the hard work of Guy and the support of his mentor Greg Voth — and to the learning environment Wesleyan provides.”
Here’s how Guy describes his work: “My undergraduate work… ranged from experimental fluid dynamics to topics in theoretical ion trap physics. My experimental work in fluid dynamics consisted of novel measurements of the rotational dynamics of anisotropic particles in turbulence. In particular, we introduced a new class of techniques for measuring Lagrangian statistics of rotational dynamics in turbulence. These techniques may also have exciting applications in topological fluid dynamics. On the theory side, I studied fundamental problems in quantum chaos and particle dynamics in Paul traps peripherally related to quantum computing.” Guy now has a graduate fellowship at Johns Hopkins, where he’s gone on to the easy stuff like quantum matter, topological defects and skyrmion dynamics.
The sciences at Wesleyan continue to produce research at the highest levels, and to involve students in that work. A belated congratulations to Guy, and to all those who helped him launch such a promising scientific career.