Award Winning Physics Alum: Guy Geyer Marcus

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.

marcus_guy                                                                                                                   Image courtesy of Stefan Kramel

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.


3 thoughts on “Award Winning Physics Alum: Guy Geyer Marcus”

  1. I’d like to emphasize what Michael said at the top of his post, that Wesleyan competes with the “all the big research institutions” for this prize because there are two separate tracks for it, one for liberal arts colleges and the other for research universities. Wesleyan is not technically a Research I university as it may be defined by the Carnegie Foundation and therefore could easily have made the case for inclusion in the (presumptively) “easier” track. So, while Swarthmore and Williams may trade the prize between them from one year to the next, Wesleyan’s main competition is MIT.

  2. Guy Geyer is not only an outstanding physics researcher, as the Apker Prize indicates. He was also a double major in the Science in Society Program, and did superb work in his courses in the philosophy of science, science policy and environmental policy. Wesleyan provides students with the opportunity to do high-level scientific research, while also coming to understand how the sciences are integrally involved in culture, society and politics. Guy took advantage of Wesleyan’s distinctive strengths in science and science studies, and excelled in both. Congratulations!

  3. I would like to compliment Guy on his award once again, and say how proud the Wesleyan McNair program is of him, as he continues to provide a beautiful example of what Wesleyan students can achieve.

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