Internationally renowned physicist Deborah Jin passed away September 15 after a losing her battle with cancer. She was 47 years old.
Jin was a Fellow at the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) and had been an AAAS member since 2003. She became an elected AAAS Fellow in 2006 and served on the Electorate Nominating Committee of the section on Physics from 2005-2008.
Jin was elected an AAAS Fellow in 2006 and served on the Electorate Nominating Committee of the section on Physics from 2005-2008. | Photo by Colorado University Boulder
The Princeton graduate made a name for herself during her career as a pioneer of molecular physicists. A 20-year employee of JILA, a joint institute of physics of the University of Colorado, Boulder, and NIST, Jin developed innovative systems to study the behavior of ultracold Fermi gases, and in 2003, her group created a new form of matter that scientists called the first fermionic condensate. The discovery was even nicknamed a “superfluid” because of its unique properties. That same year Jin was awarded the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, often referred to as the “Genius Grant”.
Her list of achievements and awards was impressive. In 2004 Jin won a Scientific American “Research Leader of the Year" award, and in 2005 was the second-youngest woman elected to the National Academy of Sciences. More recently, she was awarded a Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics in 2008, a Commerce Department Gold Medal in 2011, and the 2014 Isaac Newton Medal from Britain’s Institute of Physics.
Jin is survived by her husband, John Bohn, and daughter Jackie Bohn.