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TRIUMF Experiment Leaders are Awarded Canadian Association of Physicists Medals

09 April 2008


On Friday, April 4, 2008, the Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) announced the recipients of the 2008 medals. Two leaders of the experimental program at TRIUMF were honoured by their peers with these prestigious awards: Jess Brewer and Carl Svensson.

Professor Jess Brewer was awarded the 2008 CAP Brockhouse Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Condensed Matter and Material Physics in recognition of his pioneering work to develop muon spin relaxation and related techniques. These innovations lead to the creation of an important new field in materials physics. Jess Brewer is a Professor of Physics at the University of British Columbia and has been leading the development of facilities at TRIUMF for some time. He is now working to "make those facilities more available to other µSR users, such as the 120 or more condensed matter physicists and chemists who visit TRIUMF regularly from all over the world to perform µSR experiments on their chosen systems - gases, liquids and solids." The CAP Brockhouse Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Condensed Matter and Material Physics is awarded based on the recommendation of a selection committee established by the CAP Division of Condensed Matter and Materials Physics. The award recognizes and encourages outstanding experimental or theoretical contributions to condensed matter and materials physics. Professor Brewer will be invited to give a talk at the CAP Congress where the medal will be presented.

Simultaneously, Professor Carl Svensson was awarded with the 2008 Herzberg Medal by CAP for his strong leadership and major accomplishments in experimental nuclear physics, including measurements that improve significantly the understanding of high angular-momentum states in medium-weight nuclei and fundamental physics measurements using radioactive beams. Carl Svensson is a Professor of Physics at the University of Guelph and a leader of the cutting-edge research project known as TIGRESS, or the TRIUMF-ISAC Gamma-Ray Escape Suppressed Spectrometer. His experiments at the ISAC facility are aimed at improving our knowledge of one element of the Cabibbo-Kobayashi-Maskawa quark mixing matrix related to transitions between up an down quarks. The ultimate goal is to test the unitarity of this matrix, a fundamental assumption of the minimal electroweak Standard Model. Professor Svensson was also recently awarded the prestigious NSERC E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship. The CAP Herzberg Medal, which was first introduced in 1970, is awarded by the CAP for outstanding achievement in any field of research by a physicist who is younger than 40 years of age.

by Sandra Fleming
TRIUMF's Communications Assistant