Daniel Chemla, Ken Raymond Elected to National Academy of Sciences

May 16, 1997

By Lynn Yarris, LCYarris@LBL.gov

Two Berkeley Lab researchers were among the 60 new members elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) this year. Daniel Chemla, director of the Materials Sciences Division (MSD), and Ken Raymond, a principal investigator with the Chemical Sciences Division (CSD), were among those accorded one of the nation's highest honors for a scientist or engineer. NAS active membership now stands at 1,773.

Daniel Chemla

Ken Raymond
Chemla, 56, is a physicist recognized as one of the world's foremost authorities on the optical and electronic properties of materials. He came to Berkeley Lab in 1991 to head the new MSD (prior to that MSD and CSD were a single division). He was also given a faculty appointment with the UC Berkeley physics department.

A French national who was born in Tunisia, Chemla obtained his degrees, including his Ph.D. in non-linear optics (1972) at the University of Paris. Although he began his studies as a particle physicist, Chemla switched to what he once called a more "human scale" of science--the interaction of laser radiation with matter. He went on to specialize in the study of quantum effects on "ultra-small material structures"--solids so small their physical properties become size- and shape-dependent. Prior to his arrival in Berkeley, Chemla was with AT&T Bell Laboratories, where he became the head of the Quantum Physics and Electronic Research Department.

In addition to his NAS membership, Chemla is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America (OSA) and of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). In 1988, he received OSA's R.W. Wood Prize. In 1995 he received both the Quantum Electronics Award of IEEE's Laser and Electro-Optics Society, and a Humboldt Research Award.

Raymond, 55, chairs the UC Berkeley Department of Chemistry, where he has been a professor of inorganic chemistry since 1968. He has been associated with Berkeley Lab since 1973. In 1984 he won an E.O. Lawrence Award, given by the U.S. Department of Energy for his research on sequestering agents for the potential removal of plutonium from the human body.

Born in Astoria, Ore., Raymond received his undergraduate degree from Reed College in 1964, and his Ph.D. in chemistry from Northwestern University in 1968. The thrust of his research effort since coming to Berkeley has been directed toward finding chemical agents that can safely remove concentrations of poisonous metal ions from the human body. To this effect, he has been designing chemical compounds modeled after the compounds manufactured by bacteria and other microorganisms to transport iron. Raymond's synthetic agents bind tightly enough with plutonium so that it can be passed through the kidneys and excreted out of the body. These agents could also prove valuable for removing radioactive waste from the environment.

In addition to 60 new active members, NAS also elected 15 foreign associates from 11 different countries. Foreign associates are non-voting NAS members with citizenship outside the United States. One of the new associates is Grigory Barenblatt, a Russian professor of fluid mechanics at Cambridge University, who is visiting at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley's Miller Institute for Basic Research. Barenblatt was the collaborator with Berkeley Lab mathematician Alexandre Chorin in last year's highly publicized repudiation of the "Law of the Wall," a 60-year-old equation for predicting the stresses of turbulence that is widely used in the design of aircraft and engines.

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