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Felcher named inaugural fellow of Neutron Scattering Society of America


Gian Piero Felcher, retired senior physicist in the Materials Science Division of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, has been named an inaugural fellow of the Neutron Scattering Society of America (NSSA).

The NSSA selected Felcher for pioneering the development of neutron reflectometry and demonstrating its application to magnetic and polymer film systems. Neutron reflectometry involves shining parallel rays of neutrons onto a very flat surface and measuring the intensity of reflected radiation as a function of the beam angle.

Neutron reflectometry has come to be a popular way to study chemical aggregation, polymer adsorption, and the structures of thin film magnets and biological membranes. Felcher’s development of the first polarized neutron reflectometer in 1984 was recognized by a 1987 Industrial Research 100 award. Most of his research focused on magnetism and polymer science.

“Gian Felcher’s sustained record of major achievements in the fields of neutron scattering and condensed matter and materials physics is formidable and worthy of the highest praise,” said nominators Ray Osborn and Suzanne te Velthuis (both MSD). “He is an exceptionally clever scientist and has pursued a richly rewarding research path. He is a shining light in our research community and deserves recognition.”

Felcher worked at Argonne for more than 40 years. From 1966 until 1987, he was employed as a physicist in the Solid State Division. For the past 20 years until his retirement in February, he held the title of Senior Physicist in the Materials Science Division.

Since 1991, Felcher has also served as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Applied Physics and has won a number of other awards, including a 1986 Department of Energy prize for “outstanding research in solid state physics” and a 1999 Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Award.
With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne National Laboratory brings the world’s brightest scientists and engineers together to find exciting and creative new solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America ’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.


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