Alexandra Gade receives Beal Award

Since joining MSU in 2004, Alexandra Gade has distinguished herself as one of the leading experimental scientists in nuclear physics. Her research interests are in the study of the structure of the atomic nucleus at the extremes of neutron-proton asymmetry. Short-lived, rare isotopes composed of many more neutrons than protons, for example, often reveal surprising properties. The shape, the excitation pattern, the energy and occupation of the nucleus’ quantum mechanical orbits by protons and neutrons may be significantly altered compared to expectations based on the well-known properties of stable isotopes of the elements found in nature. Her research group performs scattering experiments to characterize the bulk effects of these changes by assessing the deformation of a nucleus and its excitation pattern. She uses beams of rare isotopes to induce particular nuclear reactions in which parts of the nucleus are knocked out or added to a rare isotope, which then allows her to track the exciting modifications of nuclear structure on the level of the neutron and proton quantum mechanical orbits that make up the nucleus on a microscopic level.

Gade has published more than 200 articles in referenced journals and given more than 60 invited talks at conferences and workshops and more than 20 invited seminars and colloquia. She is an excellent mentor and adviser, having supervised 15 undergraduate students, graduated six PhD students, and mentored nine postdoctoral fellows. Three PhDs and two postdoctoral fellows currently work in her group.

Gade’s work includes significant service to the Nuclear Science community. She has been a member of the top advisory committee to the U.S. Government on nuclear science research, the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee of the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation. As NSCL’s Chief Scientist, Gade has played a major role in assembling white papers on rare isotope research and defining critical instrumentation needed in the FRIB era. She has served on national and international committees, including the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee, committees of the American Physical Society and program advisory committees of ATLAS at Argonne National Laboratory, GANIL (France) and GSI/FAIR (Germany).

Gade’s leadership has been recognized with several prestigious national and international awards, including the Szymański Prize (2015), the DOE Outstanding Junior Investigator award (2008), the Alfred Sloan fellowship (2008) and American Physical Society fellowship (2013).

For her significant accomplishments as a scholar, teacher, mentor and leader, Alexandra Gade is highly deserving of the Michigan State University William J. Beal Outstanding Faculty Award.