The co-winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in physics will be inducted tonight into the Encina High School Hall of Fame.
David Wineland, a 1961 graduate of the school in Arden Arcade, first became interested in physics at Encina.
"There was a physics class that I took in my senior year and I thought, 'This is pretty cool, ' " said Wineland during a conference call last year with reporters from around the world.
Wineland, a Boulder, Colo. resident, shared the 2012 prize for physics with Serge Haroche of France.
He will be inducted during halftime of Encina's annual fund-raising "Alumni Challenge." The centerpiece of the challenge is a basketball game between the varsity squad and alumni players.
The game is preceded by a barbecue dinner. The challenge has evolved since 2001 into a fundraising success with students making pledges via the school's web site.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said that Wineland and Haroche independently invented and developed methods for measuring and manipulating individual particles while preserving their "quantum-mechanical nature in ways that were previously thought unattainable."
Their research has led to the building of extremely precise clocks and helped scientists make gains in constructing super-fast computers.
Wineland, born in Wauwatosa, Wis., near Milwaukee, lived briefly with his family in Denver before moving to Sacramento when he was 3 years old.
Encina's 1961 yearbook notes that Wineland's high school life included golf, cross country and the California Scholarship Federation.
After high school, Wineland started his college career at UC Berkeley as a math major, but soon after, he switched to physics.
Wineland has worked at the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology in Colorado for 37 years.