Helen Quinn

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Helen Quinn
HelenQuinn1.JPG
Helen Quinn at Harvard University
Born Helen Rhoda Arnold
(1943-05-19) May 19, 1943 (age 74)
Melbourne, Australia
Residence Portola Valley, California, United States
Nationality United States naturalised citizen
Institutions Harvard University, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Stanford University
Alma mater Tintern Grammar
Stanford University
Doctoral advisor James Bjorken
Known for Peccei-Quinn theory
Hierarchy of Interactions in Unified Gauge Theories
A Framework for K-12 Science Education
Notable awards Dirac Medal (2000)
Order of Australia (2005)
Oskar Klein Medal (2008)
Sakurai Prize (2013)
Karl Taylor Compton Medal (2016)

Helen Rhoda Arnold Quinn (born 19 May 1943 in Melbourne)[1] is an Australian-born particle physicist and educator who has made major contributions to both fields. Her contributions to theoretical physics include the Peccei-Quinn theory which implies a corresponding symmetry of nature[2] (related to matter-antimatter symmetry and the possible source of the dark matter that pervades the universe) and contributions to the search for a unified theory for the three types of particle interactions (strong, electromagnetic, and weak). As Chair of the Board on Science Education of the National Academy of Sciences, Quinn led the effort that produced A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas [3]—the basis for the Next Generation Science Standards adopted by many states. Her honours include the Dirac Medal of the International Center for Theoretical Physics, the Oskar Klein Medal from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, appointment as an Honorary Officer of the Order of Australia, the J. J. Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics from the American Physical Society, and the Karl Taylor Compton Medal for Leadership in Physics from the American Institute of Physics.

Life[edit]

Quinn grew up in Australia and graduated in 1959 from Tintern Grammar, Tintern Church of England Girls' Grammar School,[4] in Ringwood East, Victoria, Australia. She began college at the University of Melbourne before moving to the USA and transferring to Stanford University. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford in 1967, at a time when less than 2% of physicists were women. She did her postdoctoral work at the DESY (the German Synchrotron Laboratory) in Hamburg, Germany. She next spent seven years at Harvard University before returning to Stanford where she became a professor of physics at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. She retired in 2010[5] and devoted her efforts to education, especially K-12 and preschool science and multilingual education. She and her husband raised two children and have three grandchildren.[6]

Professional Contributions[edit]

Working with Howard Georgi and Steven Weinberg, Quinn showed[7] how the three types of particle interactions (strong, electromagnetic, and weak), which look very different as we see their impact in the world around us, become very similar in extremely high-energy processes and so might be three aspects of a single unified force.

With Roberto Peccei, she originated Peccei-Quinn theory, which suggested a possible near-symmetry of the universe (now known as Peccei–Quinn symmetry)[2] to explain how strong interactions can maintain CP-symmetry (the symmetry between matter and antimatter) when weak interactions do not. One consequence of this theory is a particle known as the axion which has yet to be observed but is one candidate for the dark matter that pervades the universe.

She showed how the physics of quarks can be used to predict certain aspects of the physics of hadrons (which are particles made from quarks) regardless of the details of the hadron's structure (with Enrico Poggio and Steven Weinberg).[8] This useful property is now known as quark-hadron duality.

She has given public talks in various countries on "The Missing Antimatter", in which she suggests that this area of research is promising.

In 2001, she was elected to become President of the American Physical Society for the year 2004. She was the fourth woman to be elected to the APS presidential line in the Society's 102-year history.[9]

Quinn has had a long term engagement in education issues.[4] She was a cofounder and the first president of the Contemporary Physics Education Project, and helped design its first product, the chart of Fundamental Particles and Interactions that appears on many schoolhouse walls next to the periodic table chart. CPEP received the 2017 "Excellence in Physics Education Award" from the American Physical Society, "for leadership in providing educational materials on contemporary physics topics to students for over 25 years."[10]

She was elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) while she was a staff member at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center;[11][12] she was soon made a full Professor of Physics at Stanford. As a member of NAS, she joined the Board on Science Education of the National Research Council and has served on a number of its studies. She served as Chair of this Board for the years 2009-14.

After retiring from Stanford, she spent her full effort on education. She planned and led the work of the NRC study committee that produced "A Framework for K-12 Science Education" (NRC, 2012)[3] to guide the development of multi-state standards for science education. These "Next Generation Science Standards" were released in final form in April, 2013. NGSS has been officially adopted by many states and the District of Columbia. Since the release of the Framework, she has worked to support the ongoing process of development, adoption, and implementation of the NGSS.[13][14][15] With Okhee Lee and Guadalupe Valdez, she studied the opportunities for teaching English to English language learners in the context of NGSS.[16]

In 2015, the President of Ecuador appointed her as a member of the board (Comision Gestora) charged with leading the new National University of Education.[17]

Career[edit]

Her professional career is as follows:,[1][4]

  • 1967-68 Research Associate in Physics, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center
  • 1968-70 Guest Scientist, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), Hamburg, Germany
  • 1971-72 Honorary Research Fellow, Harvard University
  • 1972-76 Assistant Professor of Physics, Harvard University
  • 1976-77 Associate Professor of Physics, Harvard University
  • 1977-78 Visiting Associate Professor, Stanford University
  • 1978-79 Research Associate, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), Stanford University
  • 1979-2003 Member, Scientific Staff, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), Stanford University
  • 1988-2004 Education and Public Outreach Manager, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), Stanford University
  • 1988-2004 Cofounder and first president of the Contemporary Physics Education Project (CPEP)
  • 2003-10 Professor of Physics, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), Stanford University
  • 2004 President of the American Physical Society[9]
  • 2005 Australian Institute of Physics Lecture Tour in celebration of the International Year of Physics [18]
  • 2009-14 Chair of the Board on Science Education of the National Academy of Sciences
  • 2010 - Professor Emerita, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), Stanford University
  • 2015 - Member of the Board (Comision Gestora) of the National University for Education (UNAE) in Ecuador.[17]

Honours[edit]

  • 2017 Franklin Medal
  • 2017 Selected to give the annual Dirac Lecture at Cambridge University, sponsored jointly by St John's College and the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics of the University of Cambridge. Her topic: "Antimatter: Dirac's incredible prediction and its consequences." She was the first woman scientist to be selected since the lecture series was begun in 1986.[19][20]
  • 2016 Karl Taylor Compton Medal for Leadership in Physics from the American Institute of Physics "for her leadership in promoting K-12 education and outreach, including the development of standards and approaches to science education that have had an enormous influence at the local, state, national and international levels, and for her broad and deep contributions to the advancement of theoretical particle physics." [21][22]
  • 2016 - Member of the American Philosophical Society [23]
  • 2013 J. J. Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics from the American Physical Society (With Roberto Peccei): "For their proposal of the elegant mechanism to resolve the famous problem of strong-CP violation which, in turn, led to the invention of axions, a subject of intense experimental and theoretical investigation for more than three decades."[24]
  • 2008 Oskar Klein Medal from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.[25] She was the first woman to receive this award.
  • 2005 appointed an Honorary Officer of the Order of Australia, "for service to scientific research in the field of theoretical physics and to education" (the award was honorary because Quinn was no longer an Australian citizen)[26][27]
  • 2004 President, American Physical Society[9]
  • 2003 - Member of the United States National Academy of Sciences[11]
  • 2000 Dirac Medal of the International Center for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy (with Howard Georgi and Jogesh Pati) "for pioneering contributions to the quest for a unified theory of quarks and leptons and of the strong, weak, and electromagnetic interactions".[28][29][30] She was the first woman to receive this award.
  • 1998 - Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences[12]
  • 1984 Fellow of the American Physical Society, "For contributions to gauge theories of elementary particles, including influential work on renormalization in grand unified theories and studies of CP violation which led to the idea of the axion."[31]

Selected publications[edit]

For the General Reader[edit]

  • The Mystery of the Missing Antimatter, Helen R. Quinn and Yossi Nir, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ (2008). (ISBN 9780691133096)
  • The Charm of Strange Quarks: Mysteries and Revolutions of Particle Physics, R. Michael Barnett, Henry Muehry, and Helen R. Quinn, Springer-Verlag, New York (2000). (ISBN 0-387-98897-1)
  • "Belief and Knowledge -- a Plea about Language", Physics Today, January 2007.[32]
  • "What is Science?", Physics Today, July 2009.
  • "How the cosmos was conquered", Helen Quinn & Yossi Nir, New Scientist, volume 198, issue 2651, 12 April 2008.

Education Publications[edit]

  • "Science and Mathematics Education", Jeremy Kilpatrick and Helen Quinn, Ed. An Education Policy White Paper of the National Academy of Education. (2009)[33][34]
  • A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas, National Academies Press, Washington DC (2012). (ISBN 978-0-309-21742-2)[3][35] Quinn was the chair of the committee producing this report and a principal author. (Ref: see page vi of the report.)
  • "Science and Language for English Language Learners", Okhee Lee, Helen R. Quinn and Guadalupe Valdes, Education Researcher 42(4) 93-127 (2013).[16][36]

Theoretical Physics[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b [1]. American Institute of Physics.
  2. ^ a b Peccei, R.D.; Quinn, H.R. (1977). "CP conservation in the presence of pseudoparticles". Physical Review Letters. 38 (25): 1440–3. Bibcode:1977PhRvL..38.1440P. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.38.1440. 
  3. ^ a b c Board on Science Education, National Academies, National Academies Press, 2012. |url=https://www.nap.edu/catalog/13165/a-framework-for-k-12-science-education-practices-crosscutting-concepts
  4. ^ a b c Helen R. Quinn. CWP, UCLA, and UC Regents. 1995 - 1998.
  5. ^ https://fndeats.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/quinn_symposium_poster.png
  6. ^ a b [2]. Grandma Got STEM
  7. ^ Georgi, H.; Quinn, H.R.; Weinberg, S. (1974). "Hierarchy of interactions in Unified Gauge Theories". Physical Review Letters. 33 (7): 451–4. Bibcode:1974PhRvL..33..451G. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.33.451. 
  8. ^ Poggio, E.C.; Quinn, H.R.; Weinberg, S. (1976). "Smearing method in the quark model". Physical Review D. 13 (7): 1958–1968. Bibcode:1976PhRvD..13.1958P. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.13.1958. 
  9. ^ a b c https://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/200111/quinn.cfm
  10. ^ http://www.cpepPhysics.org
  11. ^ a b https://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/200306/quinn.cfm
  12. ^ a b http://web.stanford.edu/dept/news/pr/03/nas200357.html
  13. ^ http://ell.stanford.edu/leadership
  14. ^ https://web.stanford.edu/group/ngss_assessment/cgi-bin/snapgse/?page_id=15
  15. ^ http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/sc/cf/scicfccrecommendedlist.asp
  16. ^ a b http://ell.stanford.edu/publication/language-demands-and-opportunities-relation-next-generation-science-standards-ells
  17. ^ a b [3]. Universidad Nacional de Educacion.
  18. ^ [4]. Claire Corani Memorial Lecture, University of Adelaide "The Mystery of the Missing Anti-Matter".
  19. ^ [5]. University of Cambridge.
  20. ^ [6]. St John's College.
  21. ^ [7]. American Institute of Physics.
  22. ^ [8]. SLAC.
  23. ^ [9]. American Philosophical Society.
  24. ^ http://www.aps.org/programs/honors/prizes/prizerecipient.cfm?last_nm=Quinn&first_nm=Helen&year=2013
  25. ^ http://okc.albanova.se/okmemorial/lecturers/
  26. ^ [10]. SLAC Today.
  27. ^ It's an Honour
  28. ^ https://www.ictp.it/about-ictp/prizes-awards/the-dirac-medal/the-medallists/dirac-medallists-2000.aspx
  29. ^ https://portal.ictp.it/pio/words/newsletter/backissues/News_94/dateline.html
  30. ^ http://news.stanford.edu/news/2000/august9/quinn-89.html
  31. ^ [11]. American Physical Society.
  32. ^ [12]. Physics Today.
  33. ^ https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED531143
  34. ^ http://news.uga.edu/releases/article/uga-regents-professor-jeremy-kilpatrick-helps-lead-national-academies-educa/
  35. ^ http://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/201111/backpage.cfm
  36. ^ http://ell.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/pdf/academic-papers/03-Quinn%20Lee%20Valdes%20Language%20and%20Opportunities%20in%20Science%20FINAL.pdf