CU-Boulder Professors Awarded Sloan Research Fellowships

March 18, 2008

Two University of Colorado at Boulder professors have been awarded Sloan Foundation Research Fellowships recognizing their work as outstanding young scientists.

Assistant Professor Nils Halverson of the astrophysical and planetary sciences and physics departments and Assistant Professor Kyle McElroy of the physics department were among 118 young scientists and scholars receiving the fellowships in the United States and Canada. The two-year awards for $50,000 each are designed to stimulate research by early career scientists who show outstanding promise.

Halverson studies the origins and early evolution of the universe. To do this he builds instruments for telescopes that observe the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation that originates from about 400,000 years after the Big Bang.

His current research focuses on understanding the nature of dark matter and dark energy in the universe. Working with two telescopes, the South Pole Telescope and the APEX telescope in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Halverson hopes his work will help scientists better understand when and how galaxy clusters in the universe are formed.

McElroy studies the electronic structure of matter on an atomic scale. Using scanning tunneling microscopy, a type of microscope that records the local structure of materials, he is able to look into materials at the single atom scale.

McElroy's work is significant in fields where smaller and smaller devices are being developed, such as microchips. Understanding the properties of materials at the nanometer scale is necessary to develop such technologies further. His work also is geared toward understanding the behavior of new materials with extreme properties.

Sloan Foundation Research Fellowships have been awarded since 1955. For more information about the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation of New York, visit www.sloan.org/main.shtml.

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