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.
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
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.