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JSA names co-recipients of its 2017 Outstanding Nuclear Physicist Prize


Washington, DC – Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, announced today that Charles Perdrisat and Charles Sinclair are the recipients of the 2017 Outstanding Nuclear Physicist Prize.

Award citation: The 2017 JSA Outstanding Nuclear Physicist Award is jointly awarded to Charles Perdrisat for his pioneering implementation of the polarization transfer technique to determine proton elastic form factors, and to Charles Sinclair for his crucial development of polarized electron beam technology, which made such measurements, and many others, possible.

The award will be presented to Perdrisat and Sinclair during a ceremony to be held at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab) in Newport News, Virginia.

Jefferson Lab is a world-leading nuclear physics research laboratory managed and operated by Jefferson Science Associates for the U.S. Department of Energy.

JSA Board vice chairs, SURA President & CEO Jerry Draayer and PAE President Karl Williams, applauded the selection panel's choice, noting that the scientific and technical contributions made by Perdrisat and Sinclair in the field of beam polarization dynamics have been recognized by their peers and evidenced in the strong recommendations both received with their nominations.

In a letter supporting Perdrisat's nomination, Stanford University/SLAC professor Stanley Brodsky said, "[Perdrisat's] leadership of the polarization transfer studies in electron-proton scattering has been a truly extraordinary achievement." Cornell University professor emeritus Maury Tigner, in support of Sinclair's nomination, said: "…as a senior scientist [at Jefferson Lab], Sinclair became involved in various accelerator sub systems including polarized injection and the high voltage injector…leading the Injector Group for many years and playing a vital role in bringing into operation the original CEBAF accelerator."

Jefferson Lab Director Stuart Henderson welcomed the news saying, "This joint award is quite fitting as both recipients have made exceptional contributions to unraveling the structure of the nucleon, through pioneering measurements in the case of Prof. Perdrisat, and through the development of key technologies that was essential to enabling those measurements, in the case of Dr. Sinclair."

W&M professor emeritus Charles Perdrisat holds the Doctor of Natural Science degree from the Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich. Prior to joining the faculty at William & Mary in 1966, Perdrisat served as a visiting professor at the Federal Institute of Technology and the Institut de Physique Nucléaire, in Orsay, France. He has been involved with the Jefferson Lab science program since the mid-1990's. Perdrisat was named a fellow of the American Physical Society in 1992. He is the recipient of the 2017 Tom W. Bonner Prize in Nuclear Physics from the American Physical Society in recognition of his work on experiments at Jefferson Lab.

Charles Sinclair holds a Ph.D. in Physics from Cornell University. After almost two decades at Stanford Linear Accelerator Center where he led the Spectrometer Facilities Group, Sinclair joined Jefferson Lab (then CEBAF) in 1987. At Jefferson Lab, Sinclair led the Accelerator Operations Group during the commissioning of CEBAF. He developed the first polarized electron source for the Lab with colleagues at the University of Illinois. In 2001, Sinclair left Jefferson Lab for Cornell University as their Technical Director of the Energy Recovery Linac project until his retirement in 2007. Sinclair was named a fellow of the American Physical Society in 1986.

The JSA Outstanding Nuclear Physicist Award, established in 2011 and awarded biennially, recognizes individuals who have made outstanding and sustained contributions including technical achievements in experimental and/or theoretical research related to the nuclear physics program at Jefferson Lab. The award, funded through the JSA Initiatives Fund Program and managed by the JSA Programs Committee, is presented at Jefferson Lab during the annual Users Group meeting. The Users Group is comprised of scientists from the U.S. and abroad who use Jefferson Lab's facilities to conduct experiments.

The panel charged with making the selection for this year's award was chaired by Robert McKeown, deputy director for Science and Technology, Jefferson Lab; and included Douglas Beck, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2013 Outstanding Nuclear Physicist Honoree; John Hardy, Texas A&M University, JSA Programs Committee member; James Symons, Lawrence Berkeley Lab, JSA Science Council member; and supported by Elizabeth Lawson, SURA Chief Governance Officer/Principal JSA/JLab Liaison.


About Jefferson Science Associates. Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, a joint venture of the Southeastern Universities Research Association, Inc. and PAE, manages and operates the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, or Jefferson Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy. For more information, visit

About Jefferson Lab. Jefferson Lab is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy ( The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit

About the JSA Initiatives Fund Program. JSA established the JSA Initiatives Fund to support programs, initiatives, and activities that further the scientific outreach, and promote the science, education and technology missions of Jefferson Lab in ways that complement its basic and applied research focus. Initiatives Fund awards are for those projects that benefit the Lab user community and that leverage commitments of others. The annual commitment is managed by SURA for the JSA Programs Committee. For more information, visit

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