REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- A senior research scientist with the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center here has been named a 2011 Fellow of the American Physical Society for his contributions to physics.

Dr. Henry Everitt, senior research scientist for optical sciences in AMRDEC's Weapons Sciences Directorate, was honored for his leadership in furthering quantum information science, including stewardship of quantum information programs for the U.S. government, and for his research in semiconductor optics while at the Army Research Office from 1991 to 2005.

AMRDEC is a subordinate organization of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command and the U.S. Army Materiel Command.

Everitt humbly said all he did was help others to accomplish great things.

The field of quantum information science explores how to build new types of computers and secure communication systems based not on classical bits of 0's or 1's but on quantum mechanical bits that can be both 0 and 1 at the same time.

"Even Einstein was uncomfortable with some of the 'spooky' physics involved, but the recent advances in the field have been breathtaking, and quantum encryption devices are commercially available today," Everitt said.

The quest for the elusive quantum computer is ongoing.

Everitt expressed pride in his work at ARO to expand what was being done in quantum information. When he talks of his own research in semiconductor optics he becomes truly animated. While at ARO, Everitt maintained a lab in the Physics Department at Duke University where he's still an adjunct professor.

"I continued being an active researcher at Duke, which was a 10- to 15-minute drive from ARO," Everitt said.

Dozens of graduate and undergraduate students received his tutelage during his time there, many of whom graduated with undergraduate honors or doctorates of philosophy. Considering he was allowed only one day a week for research, this was no small feat.

"Dr. Everitt is driven to understand the physics underlying phenomena that others either take for granted or consider unimportant. Interesting and important property discoveries of optical semiconductor materials were made because of his attitude," said Dr. John Foreman, a Weapon's Systems Directorate research physicist and a former graduate student of Everitt's.

"Dr. Everitt has given me the independence as a fledgling scientist and his patience and wisdom help keep me on track. His standards of excellence and his love of science for the sake of science are truly inspiring," Foreman added.

The opportunity to be a full-time scientist is what led Everitt, a Huntsville native, back to northern Alabama and Redstone Arsenal. His work continues to focus on semiconductor optics that he began at Duke, but has expanded into the areas of spectroscopy and imaging as well.

Everitt still finds the time to support ARO and other agencies with proposal evaluations and program reviews, keeping current on quantum information science and where it is headed.