Barbara Hope Cooper, 1953-1999, Cornell Class of 1976, graduated Magna Cum Laude in Physics and with Distinction in all Subjects, with a B.A. degree in Physics; then attended graduate school at the California Institute of Technology until June 1982 when she received a Ph.D. in Physics. She returned to Cornell as an Assistant Professor of Physics in 1983, became an Associate Professor of Physics at Cornell in 1989, and a full Professor in 1995.
Her main research interests as an experimental physicist and a leader in surface science were:
1) the use of low-energy ion beams to probe particle-surface interactions and the structural and electronic features of clean and adsorbate-covered metal surfaces,
2) atomic-scale scanning tunneling microscopy studies of mass transport and stability of nanoscale structures on ion-bombarded metal surfaces,
3) in situ studies of surface roughening during bombardment using synchrotron x-rays.
She guided a dozen students through their doctorates at Cornell.
She worked for Bell Laboratories, Kellogg Radiation Laboratory at Cal Tech, and Cornell University. She was awarded an Avon Scholarship, 1971-1976; a Bell Laboratories Graduate Research Program for Women Grant, 1976-1981; a Presidential Young Investigator Award, 1985-1989, an IBM Faculty Development Award, 1985 and 1986; and the Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award of the American Physical Society, 1992. She was a member of the American Vacuum Society, Sigma Xi, Bohemian Physical Society and a fellow of the American Physical Society.