When Bryce Gadway ’07 looked through his e-mails recently, he read the usual notes from friends and family, but little did he expect to come across a message that would declare him the winner of one of the nation’s most prestigious physics awards.
“It was quite a surprise to get the message; I couldn’t believe it. I’d been nominated by Colgate’s physics department, but I didn’t know when I would actually find out if I’d won,” said Gadway, who graduated last May with a physics-astronomy degree.
Gadway’s passion for quantum mechanics paid off, earning him the highly regarded LeRoy Apker Award from the American Physical Society. As a result, Gadway and Colgate will each receive $5,000 in prize money.
He’s the first Colgate student to receive the annual Apker Award, which honors students who dedicate their undergraduate studies to exceptional achievements in physics.
“In the physics community, this is a big deal,” said Enrique “Kiko” Galvez, a physics professor who collaborated with Gadway on research. “In the end he became an expert. I was so impressed with how much time he invested in the project.”
During Gadway’s senior year, he certainly was pressed for time.
• Get the latest stories sent by e-mail.
He juggled a heavy course load, studied for the Graduate Record Examination and spent countless hours in the physics lab on his quantum mechanics research project, “Creation and Measurement of a Single-Photon Two-Qubit State to Test a Bell-Kochen-Specker Inequality.”
According to Gadway, “This type of research could lead to denser memory storage for computers. These experiments are exciting because of possible applications down the road.”
Galvez said the award-winning research is a reflection of not only Gadway’s “thirst for knowledge,” but also Colgate’s reputation as an institution which turns out top-notch student researchers. “Our students’ research helps them significantly in their future careers.”
Gadway, from Rouses Point, N.Y., couldn’t agree more.
In fact, he’s currently pursuing a doctorate in physics at Stony Brook University and hopes to one day inspire other young researchers by becoming a professor, thanks in part to Galvez.
“Galvez has a unique ability to manage his duties as a professor and researcher with his home life. He keeps it balanced at a level I’d like to achieve someday,” he said.
As for that e-mail declaring him a winner, Gadway won’t be deleting it anytime soon.