Ilan Benjamin, professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UC Santa Cruz, has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS). Election as an APS Fellow is a major recognition of professional accomplishment from the leading organization of physicists.
Benjamin's research is focused on the theoretical study of chemical and physical phenomena that take place at liquid surfaces and interfaces. This work is motivated in part by the fact that many phenomena of importance in science and technology take place at the interface between a liquid and another phase. Examples include the uptake of pollutants at the interface between air and water, extraction of ions at the interface between water and oil, and the water-splitting reaction (electrolysis) at the interface between water and an electrode. Benjamin's lab uses a variety of computer simulation methods and collaborates with experimental groups using techniques such as time-resolved spectroscopy and x-ray reflectivity to study these phenomena.
The citation from APS recognizes Benjamin for "pioneering computational studies of liquid surfaces, including ion transport, energy relaxation, spectroscopy and chemical reaction dynamics at liquid/vapor and liquid/liquid interfaces."
Election as an APS Fellow is a distinct honor signifying recognition by one's professional peers. Each year, elected fellows number no more than one-half of one percent of APS membership. APS represents over 50,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories and industry in the United States and throughout the world.