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  • T.-C. Chiang named "Outstanding Referee" by APS

    By Celia Elliot, University of Illinois Department of Physics


    Tai Chang Chiang

    Tai Chang Chiang will be honored by the American Physical Society this year in a new program to recognize the essential contributions made by anonymous peer reviewers to the APS journals.

    The APS editors have selected an inaugural group of 534 "Outstanding Referees" from the 42,000 annual reviewers. In future years, the editors intend to select an additional 130 or so referees annually for this lifetime award. The 2008 Outstanding Referees will be recognized at the March meeting prizes and awards session, Monday, March 10, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., in Room 206 of the Convention Center.

    In a letter to Chiang, Editor-in-Chief Gene D. Sprouse wrote, "Your reports and advice have helped to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics, while creating a resource that is invaluable to authors, researchers, students, and readers. Although most scientists understand that participation as a referee is necessary for maintaining the integrity of the scientific enterprise, not all have given of their time and wisdom as generously as you have."

    After receiving a BS in physics from the National Taiwan University in 1971, Chiang received his PhD in physics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1978. He joined the Department of Physics at the University of Illinois in 1980 after working as a postdoctoral fellow at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY.

    Chiang has done seminal work on bulk, surface, and interface states of metals and semiconductors using photoemission techniques. Using synchrotron-radiation photoemission spectroscopy, scanning tunneling microscopy, and molecular beam epitaxy techniques, he has examined the growth processes and the resulting physical properties of various surface and interface systems that are of fundamental scientific interest and technological relevance.

    He was one of the first to demonstrate that atoms of single-crystal surfaces have binding energies different from the bulk atoms and that the energy shifts are detectable with photoemission, using synchrotron radiation as a light source. He has pioneered the application of angle-resolved and core-level photoemission to interface, quantum-well, and superlattice research and expanded it to include novel configurations and magnetic systems. He is currently carrying out x-ray scattering and diffraction experiments at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory.

    Most recently, Chiang and his students have fabricated miniature electron interferometers containing atomically smooth mirrors spaced by a few atomic layers. Exploiting the fact that electrons bounce back and forth between two interfaces and create standing waves, researchers in Chiang's group are able to measure the electron wavelength in their samples with very high precision.

    (This article is reprinted with permission from the University of Illinois Department of Physics).