Campus: CSU Fullerton -- May 11, 2005

Physics Professor Earns National Recognition

Murtadha A. Khakoo, professor of physics at California State University, Fullerton, will be honored May 18 with the American Physical Society's 2005 Prize for a Faculty Member for Research in an Undergraduate Institution.

Established in 1984, the honor recognizes a physics faculty member who has achieved wide recognition, as well as contributed significantly to the field of physics and the professional development of undergraduate physics students.

The American Physical Society's citation about Khakoo notes he was selected for the honor "for his challenging and sophisticated experiments in electron-atom collisions that have provided significant tests of atomic theory and for his energetic, sustained mentoring of students in his research." The award will be presented to the professor during the American Physical Society's May 17-21 annual meeting of the Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics in Lincoln, Neb.

Khakoo, who joined the Cal State Fullerton faculty in 1989, is the recipient of more than $1.1 million in grants and fellowships, including funding from the National Science Foundation for study in the field of atomic collisions.

"We are one of only about a dozen institutions in the country doing similar research, and we are the only one to have undergraduate students working on experimental electron scattering projects," the researcher noted. "Our students are very, very bright and have far exceeded my expectations. We get requests all the time from doctoral institutions for our students."

One of Khakoo's former students, Judy Segura, graduated from Cal State Fullerton in 1994 with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and physics, and completed her doctorate last year at Stanford. Several others are currently in physics Ph.D. programs at UC Irvine, UC San Diego, UC Riverside and the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

A resident of Fullerton, Khakoo earned a doctorate in atomic physics at University College in London.

The APS Prize for Research in an Undergraduate Institution, which includes a $5,000 stipend to the recipient plus a $5,000 research grant to the recipient's institution, is underwritten by a grant from the Research Corp., a private foundation for the advancement of science and technology.

Media Contacts:
Murtadha A. Khakoo at (714) 278-5275 or
Pamela McLaren of Public Affairs at (714) 278-4852 or

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