The American Physical Society (APS) has honored Professor Emeritus Alex Dragt with the 2023 Robert R. Wilson Prize for Achievement in the Physics of Particle Accelerators. He was cited "for pioneering contributions to the development and application of Lie methods in accelerator physics and nonlinear dynamics," and will receive a $10,000 award.

Dragt studied chemistry and mathematics at Calvin University before earning his Ph.D. in theoretical physics at the University of California, Berkeley, under Robert Karplus.  After an appointment at the Institute for Advanced Study, Dragt joined the Department of Physics as an assistant professJohn Toll and Alex DragtJohn Toll and Alex Dragtor in 1965, and served as department chair from 1975-78.  He led the Dynamical Systems and Accelerator Theory Group, whose work included the computation of charged particle beam transport and the computation of electromagnetic fields and beam-cavity interactions.  He received the University of Maryland Regents' Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1967 and was named a University of Maryland Distinguished Scholar-Teacher in 1984.

Dragt (rear, white shirt) with colleagues in the Center for Superconductivity Research (now QMC).Dragt (rear, white shirt) with colleagues in the Center for Superconductivity Research (now QMC).In 2002, Dragt served as Chair of the Executive Committee of the APS Division of Physics of Beams.  From 1985-1993 he was as an editor of Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena. He was recognized with the 2013 IEEE Particle Accelerator Science and Technology (PAST) award for substantial contributions to the analysis of nonlinear phenomena in accelerator beam optics.

He has had several visiting appointments, including at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques; the Institute for Theoretical Physics of the University of California, Santa Barbara; Los Alamos National Laboratory; the SSC Design Center at the Lawrence Berkeley Laborator; and the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.

Dragt is a Fellow of the APS and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the IEEE, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Mathematical Society.

APS Wilson prize announcement: