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Physicist Phillips receives Bouchet Award from American Physical Society

James E. Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor
(217) 244-1073;


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Philip W. Phillips, a professor of physics at the University of Illinois, has been selected as the 2000 recipient of the Edward A. Bouchet Award from the American Physical Society.

The award, which recognizes Phillips for “opening new vistas in the study of disordered and strongly correlated condensed matter physics, including the random dimer model and the size dependence of the Kondo effect,” will be presented May 1 at the APS meeting in Long Beach, Calif.

The award is named for Edward Alexander Bouchet (1852-1918), an American physicist.  Only a decade after the Civil War, Bouchet became the first African-American graduate of Yale College, as well as the first elected to Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest and most respected undergraduate honor society in the United States.  Bouchet also became the first African American to earn a doctorate.

Phillips, a native of Scarborough, Tobago, West Indies, received his doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of Washington in 1982.  He was a Miller Fellow at the University of California at Berkeley from 1982 to 1984, and then  joined the chemistry department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Phillips came to Illinois from MIT in 1993.

His research in theoretical condensed matter physics confronts experimental observations that challenge the standard paradigms of transport and magnetism in disordered and correlated electron systems.  Much of his recent work has been devoted to explaining the origin of the new conducting phase found in a dilute, two-dimensional electron gas.

The purpose of the award is to promote the participation of under-represented minorities in physics by identifying and recognizing a distinguished minority physicist who has made significant contributions to physics research.  The award includes a lectureship component to highlight the recipient’s work to the physics community, especially among minority physics students.

Founded in 1899, the APS has more than 40,000 members worldwide.