Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Manouchehr Saadat Noury, Ph. D.--Iranian woman physicist


May 27th, 2008

Persian Journal

On May 21, 2008 the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) announced that the Iranian scientist Yasaman Farzan (YF) of the Institute for studies in Physics and Mathematics (IPM) was the winner of the IUPAP Young Scientist Prize in Particle Physics in 2008. This prize, which is a recently established one, will be awarded every two years in the field of particle physics, preferentially one to a theoretical and one to an experimental young particle physicist of outstanding scientific achievements. The 2008 prize is the first IUPAP prize in the field of particle physics, and YF is the winner of the theoretical prize. In this article the historical background and the agenda of IUPAP, the Young Scientist Prize of IUPAP, the life story of YF and her scientific works are studied and discussed.


The International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) is an international non-governmental organization devoted to the advancement of physics. It was established in 1922 and the first General Assembly was held in 1923 in Paris. The aims of the Union are: to stimulate and promote international cooperation in physics; to sponsor suitable international meetings and to assist organizing committees; to foster the preparation and the publication of abstracts of papers and tables of physical constants; to promote international agreements on the use of symbols, units, nomenclature and standards; to foster free circulation of scientists; to encourage research and education. The Union is governed by its General Assembly, which meets every three years. The Council is its top executive body, supervising the activities of the nineteen specialized International Commissions and the three Affiliated Commissions. The Union is composed of Members representing identified physics communities. At present 49 Members adhere to IUPAP. IUPAP is a member of the International Council for Science (ICSU).


The IUPAP Young Scientist Prize in Particle Physics winner is chosen among the candidates nominated by internationally renowned particle physicists around the world. The nominations are made to the Commission on Particles and Fields of IUPAP. The prospected young nominees must not have more than 8 years experience of research work after their PhD. The IUPAP prize consists of an IUPAP medal, a certificate citing the recipient�s scientific achievements and a small honorary cash award which will be presented at the 34th International Conference on High Energy Physics to be held in Philadelphia, USA, on July 30th-August 5th, 2008.


In 1991, YF entered the high school of Farzanegan (aka Tizhooshan) located in Tabriz, the capital city of East Azerbaijan Province in Northwestern Iran. In 1994, she participated and succeeded in the internal physics Olympiad. In order to participate in the courses given for students that had succeeded in the exam, she moved to Tehran, the capital of Iran. After one year and succeeding in several exams, she was chosen among the five students consisting the Iranian team to compete in the international Olympiad, held in Beijing, China. She was the first female student from Iran who had succeeded to be on the team. In China, she received a number of awards, which included honorable mention award, best girl student award, and the silver medal in theoretical physics. In 1995, she was enrolled in the Physics Department of Sharif University of Tehran, and. Professor Farhad Ardalan (PFA) was her supervisor and under his guidelines she got interested in Elementary Particle Physics. In 1999, she completed her undergraduate studies. In the same year, she participated in the entrance exam of Master of Science and successfully passed the exam as a first grade student. Her MS thesis was entitled "Axions in Large Extra Dimensions" and it was written under supervision of PFA. After finishing the MS courses, she went to Trieste, Italy and participated in the entrance exam of PhD program at the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA), and she was among the eight students who successfully passed the exam. In first year she passed five courses and in the second year, she started working on her thesis. She chose Neutrino Physics as her research area. She was lucky enough to be accepted as a student by Professor A. Yu. Smirnov, one of the leading neutrino physicists. In 2002, her husband got a Post-doctoral position at Stanford and she accompanied him to the USA. Before going to the USA, they had correspondence with the head of the theory group of Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), Professor Michael Peskin. He encouraged YF to complete her thesis as a long-term visitor at that institute. While in the USA, she kept in touch with her supervisor, PFA, and wrote more research papers together and at the same time she benefited the scientific atmosphere at SLAC. In 2005, she returned to Italy and defended her thesis. Although she had got post-doc position from several institutes around the world (such as UCLA, Hawaii University, and Saclay in France) she preferred to go back to Iran and work at IPM of Tehran, where she is currently an assistant professor.


The current research interests of YF are Neutrino Physics, Rare Lepton Flavor Violating Decay Modes of Muon, CP-Violation in the Leptonic Sector.


Farzan, Y. (2004): Online Article on the Environmental Problems in Iran.

Farzan, Y. (2008): Online Autobiography, the Personal Homepage of Yasaman Farzan.

IPM Website (2008): Online News on Yasaman Farzan.

IUPAP Website (2008): Online Notes on IUPAP Mission.

Various Sources (2008): Notes and News on Yasaman Farzan.

Wikipedia Website (2008): Online Notes on IUPAP and SISSA.

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