Caltech and Chapman scientists win top national honors

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Yakir Aharonov, a Chapman University professor, was awarded the National Medal of Science.

Physicists from Caltech and Chapman University are winners of the nation’s top science honor. The National Science Foundation announced this year’s recipients Friday.

The National Science Foundation recognized Amnon Yariv of Caltech for his scientific and engineering work. His research involves photonics and quantum electronics, and it’s affected lightwave communications and optics.

Yariv’s National Medal of Science brings to 55 the number of Caltech faculty and alumni who’ve won the award in the half-century since it began.

The foundation also singled out Yakir Aharonov as one of the most influential figures in his field for his work in quantum physics. The Chapman University professor co-developed the Aharnov-Bohm effect that involves the action of atomic particles around a magnetic field. It’s considered one of the cornerstones of modern physics.

The White House will host a ceremony for these two medal recipients – and eight other outstanding scientists - next month.

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