SLAC’s Helen Quinn honored with 2018 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics

HELEN QUINN, a professor emerita at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University, will receive the 2018 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics – one of eight prestigious Franklin Institute Awards that will be handed out in Philadelphia in April 2018.

Helen Quinn
Helen Quinn (Image credit: Nicholas Bock / SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)

The award recognizes Quinn’s accomplishments in the field of particle physics, in particular her pioneering efforts in developing a unified theory of the electromagnetic, weak and strong interactions – three of the four known fundamental forces in the universe.

Founded in 1824, the Franklin Institute is one of the oldest centers of science education and development in the United States and has a long tradition of recognizing and encouraging outstanding accomplishments in science and technology. The 2018 recipients join a long list of illustrious laureates whose discoveries and innovations have transformed our world, including Nikola Tesla, Marie and Pierre Curie, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, Jane Goodall and Bill Gates.

“I’m greatly honored to have my name added to such a distinguished list of scientists,” Quinn said.

SLAC Director CHI-CHANG KAO said, “In addition to being a leader in her field, Helen has relentlessly worked to further education in science and technology and to give back to the global scientific community. She has set an example for future generations of researchers, and I congratulate her on behalf of the entire lab.”

Quinn’s career in particle physics began in the 1960s at Stanford, where she completed her bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degrees in physics. At the same time, SLAC – then the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center – was building the world’s longest linear accelerator for unprecedented explorations of the subatomic world.

Read more about Quinn’s storied career.

Watch a video of an interview with Quinn.