Melissa Franklin

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Melissa Franklin
Born (1956-09-30) September 30, 1956 (age 60)
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Institutions Fermilab
Harvard University
Alma mater University of Toronto
Stanford University
Thesis Selected studies of charmonium decay (1982)
Doctoral advisor Gary Feldman
Doctoral students David Kestenbaum

Melissa Eve Bronwen Franklin (born September 30, 1956) is an experimental particle physicist and the Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics, and the former physics department chair, at Harvard University.[1] While working at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Chicago, her team found some of the first evidences for the existence of the top quark. In 1993, Franklin was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society. She is currently member of the CDF (Fermilab) and ATLAS (CERN) collaborations.

Early life and education[edit]

Franklin was born in Edmonton, Alberta and grew up first in Vancouver, British Columbia and then Toronto, Canada, where her family moved in 1962. Her father, Stephen Franklin, was a British-born journalist who worked as drama critic for the Ottawa Journal and later as staff writer and editor for Weekend magazine. Her mother, Elsa, was a television producer as well as Canadian author Pierre Berton's manager and literary agent.[2] Melissa Franklin dropped out of high school to form an alternative school with friends.[3] After attending SEED Alternative School she studied physics at the University of Toronto and graduated in 1977.[3]

Career[edit]

Franklin earned her physics PhD from Stanford University in 1982 with thesis titled "Selected studies of charmonium decay" under the supervision of Gary Feldman, working with the school's linear accelerator, SLAC.[3] She did postdoctoral work at the University of California at Berkeley in the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. In 1988 she became an assistant professor at the University of Illinois, and worked at Fermilab in Chicago. In 1987 she joined Harvard University, later becoming the physics department's first tenured woman professor. For over a decade, Franklin traveled between Boston and Chicago every few weeks, to check on and fix equipment at Fermilab. In 1995, her team proved the existence of the top quark.[3]

Since the 1990s, Franklin has been a frequent guest on the CBC Radio science program Quirks and Quarks.[4]

References[edit]

External links[edit]