2008 News Archive
2008 Department News
December 3, 2008
Thomas Mason Ph.D. (McMaster ) has been made a recipient of the McMaster Distinguished Alumni Award. Completing his PhD in condensed matter physics under professor emeritus Malcolm Collins, Thom continued his research at AT&T Bell Labs, Riso National Laboratory in Denmark, and the University of Toronto as and associate professor before joining the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee where he is now the laboratory director for Neutron Sciences. He has been named one of the “100 Canadians to Watch” by Maclean’s magazine and was listed as one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40.
November 25, 2008
Congratulations are in order for department professors Graeme Luke and Takashi Imai on their very recent selection as Fellows of the American Physical Society (APS). This is the largest and most active professional society devoted to the promotion of research, education and other matters in the discipline of physics. Less than .5% of the members of the APS can be Fellows. This is a recognition of their outstanding contribution to physics.
Both Graeme and Takashi are experimentalists in the condensed matter group at McMaster, members of the BIMR, and members of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research Quantum Materials program.
Graeme Luke was cited “For the study of exotic magnetism and superconductivity using muon spin rotation techniques.”
Takashi Imai was cited “For important studies of quantum magnetism and superconductivity using NMR techniques.”
October 3, 2008
This year’s Hooker Distinguished Lecturer is Dr. Tom Abel from Stanford University. He will be giving his lecture, Cosmic Dawn: The First Star in the Universe, as part of the Public Lecture series by the Origins Institute on Wednesday October 15, 2008 at 8:00 pm in room 147 of the Burke Science Building. Please see the PDF poster for more information.
September 19, 2008
We are very sorry to report the passing of professor emeritus Martin W. Johns, B.A. & M.A. (McMaster), Ph.D.(Toronto) on Thursday Sept 18, 2008. Dr. Johns was one of the first to receive an undergraduate (1932) or graduate (1934) degree from McMaster after it had moved to Hamilton, and went on to a lifetime of contributions to McMaster as professor, chair of physics, and later as the Co-ordinator of Part Time Degree Studies. The Department of Physics and Astronomy in particular owes a great debt to Martin, as his leadership as chair during a rapid expansion in the years 1961-67 established the department’s international reputation. Martin was a valued participant in departmental activities up until early this year. He will be greatly missed. (DV)
September 18, 2008
Honours Physics Coop student, Maxim Mitchell has won the Canadian Radiation Protection Association’s (http://www.crpa-acrp.ca/en/news.php) annual Anthony J. MacKay Student Paper Contest. The papers entered are rated against the following criteria: relevance/interest, originality/novelty, technical content, style/format, and clarity. The contest prize includes an all-expenses-paid trip to the annual CRPA conference, which was held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, this past June. The winning paper is also published in the CRPA Bulletin. This year the winning entry was Maxim Mitchell’s paper, “Tritium.” Maxim wrote this paper while on a work term at SENES. As a result of the fine work he did there, SENES and McMaster’s Office of Science Career & Cooperative Education will be nominating Maxim for the Canadian Association for Cooperative Education Student of the Year Award.
September 17, 2008
James Wadsley, assistant professor in the department of physics and astronomy, and post-doctorate fellow Gregory Stinson, have reported the results of a computer simulation in The Astrophysical Journal Letters that suggests that stars can migrate within a galaxy.
September 12, 2008
Cliff Burgess, professor of physics and astronomy and an associate member of the Perimeter Institute, has been elected to the Royal Society of Canada, the most prestigious scholarly organization in the country.
August 15, 2008
Cliff Burgess, professor of physics and astronomy and an associate member of the Perimeter Institute, was interviewed by the CBC concerning the startup of the Large Hadron Collider in Europe in september.
August 1, 2008
Alan Chen, associate professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, is the 2008 recipient of the Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award. The award, in the amount of $25,000, is given in recognition of outstanding work by young faculty researchers at post-secondary institutes in Canada. This award will allow Alan Chen, along with the department’s Dr. Graeme Luke, to change the focus of a senior laboratory course towards one that will more directly connect the course material to students’ research areas.
June 10, 2008
Congratulations to Emma Mazurek who received the Governor General’s Silver Medal at today’s Science Convocation. This medal is awarded to the student graduating from an Honours program at McMaster with the highest academic average. Emma joins previous winners of this award Matt Farrar and Daniel Laycock, so that a graduate from Honours Physics has been presented with this award 3 out of the last 4 years.
June 9, 2008
The Department of Physics & Astronomy held its first alumni reunion on Saturday June 7 with a program that included lectures by guests Dr. Doug Bonn and Dr. Russell Donnelly, and current faculty members Dr. Alison Sills, Mr. Ken Sills, Dr. Kari Dalnoki-Veress, Dr. Ralph Pudritz, and Dr. John Berlinsky.
May 8, 2008
Andy Duncan, Department of Physics & Astronomy technician, has been awarded the McMaster University Health and Safety Award of Excellence for 2008. Andy received the award for designing and creating the Safety Training Database system that our department and the Department of Chemistry is using to organize, track and keep records of safety training requirements and completion. Andy’s program is now being studied by the Faculty of Science Health and Safety Committee for adaptation for use within the entire Faculty of Science. Congratulations Andy.
April 24, 2008
Department of Physics & Astronomy professor Doug Welch has a feature article in this month’s Sky and Telescope Magazine (June 2008) entitled How to Hunt for Supernova Fossils in the Milky Way.