The Star-Ledger (Newark, New Jersey)
January 6, 2008 Sunday
MIDDLESEX EDITION



Rutgers professor wins coveted science, engineering fellowship
MIDDLESEX DIARY

by CHRISTOPHER DELA CRUZ, STAR-LEDGER STAFF

Emil Yuzbashyan 36, Plainsboro Accomplishment

Rutgers physicist Emil Yuzbashyan was recently honored with a Packard
Foundation Fellowship for Science and Engineering, which provides
$625,000 in research funding for five years. This is the first time
the Packard Foundation has awarded the coveted fellowship to a Rutgers
University professor.

A love of science

Yuzbashyan studies properties of matter at temperatures close to
absolute zero - the point where all motion ceases. Understanding how
particles interact under these conditions can help promote powerful
new technologies such as quantum devices and superconductivity.

Yuzbashyan also worked on a new theory related to the concept of
superfluidity, or how a liquid cooled to near absolute zero can flow
in a closed loop without any outside sources of energy sustaining
that motion.

For Yuzbashyan, his pursuit of scientific truths is a source of
happiness and fulfillment.

"There is a certain kind of pleasure you get when you understand
something," said Yuzbashyan. "You go into something, then you work on
it, work on it, then suddenly you realize how it all works."

An immigrant's journey

Yuzbashyan grew up in Armenia and earned a master of science degree
from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology in 1995. He later
worked at Russia's Joint Institute for Nuclear Research.

For Yuzbashyan, though, there came a point where he had to move to
America in order to continue his work.

"U.S. is the best country to do science," said Yuzbashyan. "If you
want to do real physics, this is the place to be."

Yuzbashyan was a nomadic professor jumping from place to place, first
teaching at the University of Chicago, then Princeton University. He
finally settled at Rutgers University.

Yuzbashyan said he didn't have too much of a cultural shock, other
than observing America's obsession with drinking lots of Coca-Cola.

Yuzbashyan's wife, Natalia, arrived in the United States with
Yuzbashyan. Also a science professor, she college-hopped from
Princeton to Boston and now California. "One thing that was a
cultural shock - long-distance relationships," said Yuzbashyan.
"Russians and Armenians don't have many long-distance relationships."

Hobbies

Yuzbashyan enjoys reading, especially about history. He is most
interested in learning about "extreme periods" like the French
Revolution. He also plays chess.

Favorite scientists

Yuzbashyan said he most admires Albert Einstein. "It's amazing the
level of insight he had."

Yuzbashyan said the greatest living American scientist is Paul
Anderson from Princeton University.

Family

Wife, Natalia, 36.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress