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Dr. Nora Berrah

Picture of Nora Berrah

Office

Location1120Everett Tower
Phone (269)-387-4940
Dept. Fax269-387-4939

Teaching

Past Courses
YearSemesterCourse #
2012-13Fall
Fall
2008-9Fall
2007-8Fall
2006-7Fall
2005-6Fall
Fall
Fall
2004-5Fall
Fall
2003-4Fall
Fall
2002-3Fall
Fall

Biographical Information

Main Content

Nora Berrah is a WMU Distinguished University Professor. She received her Ph.D. in Physics in May 1987 from the University of Virginia, and her thesis title was “Laser Photodetachement of HS- Trapped in a Penning Trap”. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Argonne National Laboratory for 2 years and an assistant scientist for 2.5 years before moving in the fall of 1991 to WMU as an assistant professor. Her current research interests are in the experimental investigation of the electronic structure and dynamics in atoms, molecules, clusters, and their ions, including in the future metal and biological clusters. The studies are carried out using lasers as well as vuv-soft x-ray third generation light source, the Advanced Light Source (ALS) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). These past 2 years, we have included in our research program plans to study ultrafast phenomena using femtosecond free electron lasers (FEL). In particular, our research interests, in fundamental light-matter interactions, include now the control of quantum systems using ultrafast light sources. In 2008, the research will also be performed using the free electron laser, the LCLS, at SLAC, Stanford University in California. Prof. Berrah is a fellow of the American Physical Society and was awarded a Humboldt fellowship in 1992 from the Humboldt foundation as well as the 2002 David Shirley Award for outstanding science from ALS, LBNL. She also serves on many national and international scientific committees. Prof. Berrah is active in mentoring undergraduate students as well as increasing diversity in physics from middle school to the university level. She serves in Site Visits program of physics departments for the Committee on the Status of Women in Physics (CSWP).

Education

Ph.D. in Physics, May 1987, University of Virginia with Prof. Dan Larson : Photodetachement of HS- trapped in a Penning Trap

Research Interests & Experience

Experimental studies of atomic and molecular electronic structure and dynamic processes. Studies of few and many electrons systems. Many body studies using laser photodetachement of negative ions, fast ion beam laser spectroscopy, and using synchrotron-based photoionization, photoexcitation and photodetachment of atoms, molecules, clusters and negative ions.

Professional Positions

  • Distinguished Faculty Scholar, 2000.
  • Professor, Physics Department, Western Michigan University, August 1999.
  • Associate Professor, Physics Department, Western Michigan University, August 1994.
  • Visiting Scientist at the Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max Planck Gesellschaft, Berlin, Germany, 1992-1993. Host: Prof. Uwe Becker
  • Visiting Scientist (Chercheur Associe) at the Laboratoire pour l'Utilisation du Rayonement Electronique LURE. Host: Dr. François Wuilleumier, June-July 1992, May 1993, of the Université d'Orsay, Paris, France.
  • Visiting Scientist for 1 month at the Physics Division of Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL. May 1992.
  • Assistant Professor, Physics Department, Western Michigan University, August 1991.
  • Assistant Scientist, Physics Division, Argonne National Laboratory, October 1989-1991.
  • Postdoctoral appointee, Physics Division, Argonne National Laboratory, May 1987-October 1989.
  • University of Virginia, Physics Department: Graduate Research Assistant with Prof. D. J. Larson in Atomic and Molecular Laser Spectroscopy, September 1982 to May 1987.

Professional Activities

  • Member, ALS, LBNL, UC, Berkeley, Science Advisory Committee (SAC), 2007-2010.
  • Member, SSRL, SLAC, Standford University, Science Advisory Committee (SAC), 2006-2009.
  • Member, Executive Committee, International Conference on the Photonic, Electronics and Atomic Collisions, 2005-2009.
  • Chair, Committee of the Status of Women in Physics, CSWP, 2007-2008.
  • Co-Chair (with Phil Buckbaum), Summer School on Ultrafast Science using X-ray FEL, Pulse Center, SLAC, June 2007.
  • Member, Committee of the Status of Women in Physics, CSWP, 2006-2008.
  • Co-Chair, International Conference on Photonic, Electronics and Atomic Collisions, ICPEAC09.
  • Member, Executive Committee, International Conference on the Photonic, Electronics and Atomic Collisions, 2005-2009.
  • Co-Chair (with Artie Bienenstock), "Strengthening the Physics Enterprise in Universities and National Laboratories through Gender Equity", CSWP, APS, May 7-9, 2007.
  • Member, International Forum in Physics (FIP) of APS, 2006-2007.
  • Chair, The Davisson-Germer Prize, American Physical Society, 2005-2006.
  • Vice Chair, The Davisson-Germer Prize, American Physical Society, 2005-2006.
  • Member, Subcommittee of CSWP, Site visits to Physics Department, March 2005.
  • Member, Executive Committee of the Division of Atomic Molecular and Optical Processes (DAMOP) of the American Physics Society, 2005-2008.
  • Member, the Executive Committee of the APS Topical Group on Few-Body Physics (GFB).
  • Co-team leader for Atomic and Molecular Science at the free electron laser (LCLS), SLAC, Stanford, CA, 2004-present.
  • Member, Science Advisory Committee for the LCLS, 4th Generation Light Source, SLAC, Stanford, CA, 2003-2005.
  • Member, Committee of the International Conference in X-Ray and Inner-Shell Processes, 2005-2008.
  • Member, Basic Energy Science Advisory Committee (BESAC) for the Department of Energy, 2002-2006.
  • Member, National Research Council, National Academy, Committee on Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, (CAMOS)2000-2002.
  • Member, Users Executive Committee of the Advanced Light Source (ALS) in Berkeley, California, 1993-1996; 1997-2001.
  • Chair, Users Executive Committee of the Advanced Light Source (ALS) in Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, California, 2000.
  • Vice-Chair, 1999 Users Executive Committee of the Advanced Light Source (ALS) in Lawrence Berkeley National laboratory, California.
  • Member, BESAC (Basic Energy Science Advisory Committee to DOE) sub-committee to review 4th generation Light Sources (the Leone Panel), 1999.
  • Member, UNESCO scientific panel charged in relocating the accelerator BESSY I ring to the Middle-East, 1999.
  • Member, Selection committee for the I. I. Rabi prize, 1998-2000.
  • Member, committee of the International Conference in X-Ray and Inner-Shell Processes, 1996-1999.
  • Member, sub-committee for the annual conference QELS ‘97, “Laser Spectroscopy, Laser Cooling, and Atom Trapping’, 1997.
  • Member, committee on International Scientific Affairs, CISA of the American Physics Society, 1994-1997.
  • Member, International Scientific Advisory Committee for the International Symposium on (e,2e) Double Photoionization and Related Processes, 1995-1997
  • Member, LBNL Task Force to Provide Guide Lines to the ALS managements of LBNL, 1998-1999.
  • Member, Executive Committee of the Division of Atomic Molecular and Optical Processes (DAMOP) of the American Physical Society, 1995-1998.
  • Member, International Scientific Committee for the International Conference on the Physics of Electronics and Atomic Collisions, ICPEAC, 1995-’98.
  • Chair, Participation Research Team (PRT) of the Atomic & Molecular undulator beamline, 9.0.1/10.0.1 of the Advanced Light Source (ALS) in Berkeley, CA, 1995-present.
  • Member, Proposal Study Panel of the Advanced Light Source (ALS) in Berkeley, California, 1995-2000.
  • Chair ,Organized a Scienctific Session at the 1999 Optical Society of America (OSA) conference in San Jose, CA.
  • Chair, Organized AMO workshops at ALS within the ALS Users meeting, Oct.1996,1997
  • Member, Local organizing committee at the "International Workshop in Photoionization" (IWP) in Berlin, Germany, 1992.
  • Chair of session at the International Workshop in Photoionization (IWP), Berlin, August 1992; Chair of DAMOP session, May 1996; Chair of Workshops at ANL, 1996, at ICPEAC 1999, at X-99, 1999.
  • Member, Local Organizing Committee, Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (DAMOP) of the American Physical Society, Chicago, IL, 1992.
  • Member, Co-organizer of a workshop on "Atomic Physics at the Advanced Photon Source," March 29-30, 1990.

University Activities

  • Chair, Research Policy Council sub-committee on "Recognition at WMU".
  • Member, Arts and Sciences Women Caucus.
  • Member, Future of the Physics Dept.
  • Member, WMU Research Policies Council, 2003-2004, 2004-2007.
  • Member, associate Deans search committee, College of Arts and Sciences, 2006.
  • Member, Dean for International Studies search committee, WMU, 2006.
  • Member, Vice President for Research search committee, WMU, 2005-2006.
  • Member, University Academic Integrity Committee, 2001-2005.
  • Member, Graduate Committee Admissions, Western Michigan University Physics Department 1993-996, 1999. Produced the Physics Department Brochure 1996.
  • Member, WMU Curriculum Committee, 1996-1998.
  • Chair of the Facilities & Planning Committee, 1997-1998.
  • Chair, Colloquium of WMU Physics Department, 1992, 1996.
  • Member, Thesis Committees, PhD Comprehensive exams, Master thesis.
  • Chair, Thesis Committees, PhD Comprehensive exams, Master thesis, Undergraduate thesis.

Professional Associations

  • Member of the American Physical Society.
  • Member of the Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics.
  • Member of the American Association of University Women.
  • Member of Phi Kappa Phi

Awards

  • Dean's Faculty Appreciation Award, 2007.
  • David. S. Shirley Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievements at the Advanced Light Source, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 2002.
  • WMU Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award, 2000.
  • Fellow, American Physical Society, 1999.
  • W. M. U. President Award for excellence in Research (1996).
  • W. M. U. Dean’s Award for excellence in Research (1995, 1997).
  • Humboldt Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for 1 year (1992 - 1993).
  • Fellowship from the Physics Department of the University of Virginia for the academic year 1985-1986.
  • Scholarship from the University of Orsay, Paris, France for the academic year 1979-1980.
  • Scholarship from Le Ministere de L'Enseignement Superieure et de la Recherche Scientifique of Algeria from 1981 to 1985.
  • Baccalaureate exam with Honors in 1975.

International Collaborations

  • Collaboration with Prof. Thomas Moeller & Christoph Bostedt, Technical University, Berlin, Germany.
  • Dr. F. Wuilleumier from the "Laboratoire pour l'Utilisation du Rayonement Electronique" LURE from the Universite d'Orsay, Paris, France.
  • Prof. Uwe Becker of the Fritz-Haber Institut der Max-Planck Gesellschaft, Berlin, Germany.
  • Dr. E. Sokell from the Department of Experimental Physics, University College Dublin, Ireland

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