Wendell T. Hill, III
Wendell T. Hill, III holds the rank of Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, with appointments in the Institute for Physical Science and Technology and the Department of Physics, and is also a fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI).
He is currently the director of the graduate Chemical Physics Program at Maryland. He earned his BA from the University of California, Irvine, in 1974 and his PhD from Stanford University in 1980, both in physics. He was an NRC postdoc from 1980-1982 at National Institute for Standards & Technology (NIST, then the National Bureau of Standards) before joining the faculty of the University of Maryland. Hill’s honors include Presidential Young Investigator of the National Science Foundation (NSF), Fellows of The American Physical Society (APS), The National Society of Black Physicists and The African Scientific Institute, and has been profiled as a ScienceMaker for The HistoryMakers. His research interests are broad with publications ranging from high-energy particle physics to ultracold atoms; he wrote the introductory chapter on electromagnetic radiation for the Encyclopedia of Applied Spectroscopy, published in 2009 by Wiley and is the co-author of the physics text “Light-Matter Interaction: Atoms and Molecules in External Fields and Nonlinear Optics,” published in 2007 by Wiley. His current research falls into three areas within atomic, molecular and optical (AMO) physics, with a focus on the quantum behavior of matter: (1) ultrafast dynamics using femtosecond and attosecond lasers to probe and control electrons in atoms as well as electrons and atoms in molecules; (2) ultra-intense dynamics using petawatt laser to investigate relativistic electron motion and the nature of the quantum vacuum; and (3) ultracold, degenerate gases, with a particular interest in using these unique phases of matter as quantum simulators to probe fundamental quantum processes. Dr. Hill currently is a member of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee of the Centro de Lasers Pulsados in Salamanca, Spain as well as several advisory committees of long-standing conferences. He serves on the Board on Physics and Astronomy of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), which is charged with looking after the health of physics and astronomy in the US. He has held visiting positions at Lawrence Livermore National Labs, Instituto Venezalano de Investigaciones (Venezuela), the Université de Paris-Sud, (Orsay, France), NIST, and JILA at the University of Colorado. Hill has been a member of numerous program committees for national and international conferences, has served on a number of permanent and ad hoc committees for APS, the Department of Energy, the Optical Society of America (OSA), NAS, and NSF. He was the program officer for the Experimental AMO program at NSF (2010-2012 academic years). He was a founding member of the National Advisory Committee of the APS Bridge program and has been instrumental in the production of reports for the National Academy of Sciences, APS and NSF promoting physics and community action for improved health of physics (AMO in particular) in the US as well as the engagement of more members of underrepresented groups in physics.