Augenbraun '15 Wins Apker Award

Augenbraun_Ben (1)Benjamin Augenbraun ’15 has received the nation’s highest honor for undergraduate physics research, becoming the fifth Williams alumnus in recent years to win the Leroy Apker Award from the American Physical Society.

The award is presented to two undergraduates each year—one from a Ph.D.-granting institution and one from a non-Ph.D.-granting institution. Over the past 20 years, more Williams alumni have received Apker awards than alumni from any other college or university in the country.

Augenbraun’s research, completed in the lab of Professor Tiku Majumder, was a thesis on experimental atomic physics using  laser spectroscopy to research the Stark shift, a phenomenon whereby atoms, in this case indium, deform in large electric fields.

“Ben spent two years working in our atomic physics laboratory, growing from an enthusiastic participant to a true research partner who, by the end of his Williams career, was not only running the complicated experiment entirely by himself, but also charting the direction of the future of the project,” Majumder says.

Augenbraun is now pursuing a Ph.D. in physics at Harvard University, where he’s part of a research group studying cold molecules.