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University of Manitoba Joins TRIUMF

24 March 2009

On Friday, March 20, the University of Manitoba became a full member of TRIUMF, Canada's National Laboratory for Particle and Nuclear Physics.

With the world's largest cyclotron, capable of accelerating 1,000 trillion particles per second, TRIUMF is one of three subatomic research facilities in the world that specialize in producing extremely intense beams of particles.

"The University of Manitoba is excited to be joining this facility," said Dr. Digvir Jayas, Acting Vice-President (Research) at the University of Manitoba. "By becoming a [full] member of TRIUMF, the University of Manitoba has significantly enhanced its access to sophisticated, large-scale research facilities and to expertise in physical and life sciences."

TRIUMF began in 1968 when three Universities launched a local facility for intermediate-energy nuclear physics. TRIUMF has now grown to be a nationwide effort and the University of Manitoba, a longtime associate member, today became a full member in the world-class institute.

"We are absolutely thrilled to have the University of Manitoba join the TRIUMF consortium as a full member," said Dr. Feridun Hamdullahpur, Chair, TRIUMF Board of Management. "It is a great affirmation of the value of this type of research and this type of shared endeavor. The Manitoba team brings great energy and enthusiasm to the laboratory along with some superb new initiatives for breakthrough discoveries. We look forward to making these become reality."

The University of Manitoba joins the seven existing member universities, and as part of this national team, the University of Manitoba will help to set the priorities of the research program.

As a full member, the University of Manitoba will have a voice in setting the direction for TRIUMF's network of international scientific leaders and decision-makers, cutting-edge research, and highly skilled technical and engineering support.

A special evening reception on Thursday, March 19, was held in Winnipeg to celebrate the occasion; the TRIUMF Board of Management participated along with speeched by former director Erich Vogt and Manitoba physicists Shelley Page, Peter Blunden, and Willem T.H. van Oers.  By coincidence, Dr.  van Oers was also celebrating his 75th birthday, a point that was not overlooked: his research program of charge asymmetry measurements at TRIUMF were  hailed as some of the key successes for both the university and the laboratory.

The University of Manitoba's Department of Physics and Astronomy has a strong tradition of excellence in nuclear and particle physics research.  Originally based at the in-house 50 MeV cyclotron laboratory, the program evolved toward higher enegry experiments based at TRIUMF in the 1970s, led by Dr. van Oers.  He and his group carried out a series of highly sensitive measurements of fundamental symmetries in neutron-proton and proton-proton scattering at TRIUMF in the last 1990s, achieving national and international recognition for this work.  Dr. van Oers was named University Distinguished Professor Emeritus in 2005.  A history of close collaboration between TRIUMF and the University of Manitoba has led to the advancement of knowledge at the frontiers of particle and nuclear physics research and to the education of numerous highly skilled graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

The TRIUMF community congratulates the University of Manitoba on its new level of participation and Dr. van Oers on his many important achivements on the occasion of his birthday.


By T.I Meyer (Based on Univ of Manitoba press release)


Former TRIUMF Direcotr Erich Vogt and Univ of Manitoba Physicist Wim Van Oers

Former TRIUMF Director Erich Vogt and Univ of Manitoba Physicist Willem T.H. van Oers

(Photo credit S. Reeve)