Wolfe honored with Klemens Award

Celia Elliott

Professor of Physics Emeritus James P. Wolfe was presented with the 2010 Klemens Award at the 13th International Conference on Phonon Scattering in Condensed Matter on April 23, 2010. The conference was held at National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan. 

Wolfe was recognized for his seminal contributions to many branches of phonon physics and his efforts in presenting and explaining new discoveries to the phonon community. He is an internationally recognized expert on the imaging and thermodynamics of excitonic matter in semiconductors.

"We admire his investigation of wind in a phonon gas, his fantastic images of phonon focusing, the many experiments with surface waves and with superlattices, and his important contributions to the phonon physics involved in dark matter detection," according to Conference Chair Chi-Kuang Sun. "His lectures and book have set the highest standard of pedagogy.  We thank him for these past accomplishments and look forward to his future contributions."

Wolfe received his PhD in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1971. He remained at Berkeley as an assistant research physicist until 1976, when he joined the Department of Physics at the University of Illinois. His 1998 book, Phonon Imaging, describes the propagation of phonons and ultrasound in solids. A Fellow in the American Physical Society, Professor Wolfe has headed multi-investigator programs for the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation. He was awarded the 2004 Frank Isakson Prize for Optical Effects in Solids of the American Physical Society "for contributions to the fundamental understanding of excitonic matter and ballistic phonons in semiconductors, made possible by pioneering development of graphic imaging techniques."

Wolfe has also written the book Elements of Thermal Physics, which is used in our Physics 213 course for science and engineering students.

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