Frances Hellman is a physicist at University of California, Berkeley who studies the thermodynamic properties of novel solid materials, especially thin film semiconducting, superconducting, and magnetic materials. She is currently the chairwoman of the physics department and holds a dual appointment in the materials science and engineering department. She graduated from Dartmouth College in 1978. Hellman obtained her Ph.D. in applied physics at Stanford University in 1985, then served as a postdoctoral fellow at Bell Laboratories from 1985-1987. Before coming to Berkeley, she was a professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego from 1987 to 2004. She moved to San Diego in 1987 to take a position as assistant professor of physics at UCSD. Hellman is a fellow of the American Physical Society.
Frances is the daughter of Chris and Warren Hellman of San Francisco, who were heirs to the Levi Strauss & Co. blue jeans fortune and are part of the firm of Hellman & Friedman LLC, a private investment company. The Hellman family are major donors to the University of California and maintain a close relationship with the administrative end of UC. Frances Hellman married Robert Dynes, former UC President, in May 1998 and they divorced in 2006.
- Eric Niiler. "The Joy of Physics". UCSD Perspectives (Fall 1999).
- "Prize Recipient". American Physical Society.
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