2009 News Archive
2009 Department News
December 1, 2009
Christine Wilson, professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, is a principal researcher on the Physical Processes in the Interstellar Medium of Very Nearby Galaxies project which is part of the research being carried out with the Herschel Space Observatory launched in May by the European Space Agency.
November 20, 2009
Laura Parker, assistant professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, is a 2009 Polanyi Prize winner. Laura specialises in observational cosmology with an emphasis towards galactic structure and formation and the interaction between galaxies and dark matter distribution. The Polanyi Prizes are named for John Polyani, who received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1986.
November 13, 2009
Donald Sprung, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, has been elected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society, at the recommendation of the Topical Group on Few-Body Systems. The citation will acknowledge Don’s many important contributions to the understanding of nuclear dynamics, including the development of the first realistic soft-core two-nucleon interaction, and the identification of the role of long-range interactions in the deuteron. Don is a very active Emeritus member of our department, and a former Chair of the Department, and Dean of the Faculty. He has the distinction of having the longest time span of continuing publication in the prestigious Physical Review series of journals of anyone ever in the department — over half a century.
September 9, 2009
Fourth-year honours physics co-op student Evan Sinukoff has spent the last eight months working for NASA at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, helping in the development of the proposed Space Infrared Interferometric Telescope (SPIRIT) that would provide views of planet, star and galaxy formation in unprecedented detail.
September 3, 2009
Graduate student Rob Cockccroft and department professor William Harris are contributors to the Nature letter published today “The remnants of galaxy formation from a panoramic survey of the region around M31” describing the region around the Andromeda galaxy. The letter also prompted the BBC article entitled “Galaxy’s ‘cannibalism’ revealed“.
August 18, 2009
Duncan O’Dell was named an Early Research Award recipient yesterday by The Honourable John Milloy, Minister of Research and Innovation and Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. The Early Researcher Award (ERA) program helps to attract and retain research talent by assisting new researchers with building their research teams. Duncan’s research involves the application of quantum mechanics to computing and communication in an effort to transfer photons over a computer network connected by optical fibres.
June 9, 2009
Congratulations to Clare Armstrong and Phillip Ashby as they were both awarded first place for their poster and oral presentation respectively at the Canadian Association of Physicists Congress in Moncton. Clare, an MSc student working under the supervision of Prof. Haugen, presented her work on “Selected Applications of Ultrafast Terahertz Spectroscopy“. Phillip, a PhD student working under the guidance of Prof. Kallin, presented his work on “Spontaneous Supercurrents in a Chiral p-wave Superconductor“.
May 29, 2009
Congratulations to Sarah Nickerson who, while attending the Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA), won the best poster as judged by the graduate student committee of CASCA as well as an honourable mention by the CASCA board – the only student to be recognised by both bodies! Her poster was entitled “Stellar Feedback in Cosmological Simulations of Galactic Substructure”. Sarah is pursuing her MSc with Prof. Couchman.
April 3, 2009
Physics & Astronomy professor and Origins Institute director, Ralph Pudritz, will be inducted into the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Society of Scholars at the school’s next commencement ceremony. The Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars inducts post-doctoral fellows and junior or visiting faculty who have gained distinction in the fields of physical, biological, medical, social or engineering sciences, or in the humanities.
March 27, 2009
Department of Physics & Astronomy associate professor Alan Chen has been awarded the McMaster Students Union 2008-2009 Teaching Award in the Arts & Science category. Alan was also the 2008 recipient of the Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award given in recognition of outstanding work by young faculty researchers at post-secondary institutes in Canada.
February 11, 2009
Department of Physics & Astronomy professor John Berlinsky has been named as the academic program director for the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. Dr. Berlinsky’s new role will include setting up the Perimeter Scholars International (PSI) program which is a one-year graduate course that will constitute a master’s degree in physics.
January 31, 2009
Associate professor Alison Sills in conversation with CBC Radio’s ‘Quirks and Quarks’ host Bob McDonald explaining recent research that examines evidence of ‘stellar cannibalism’ and ‘vampire’ stars in globular clusters.
January 19, 2009
Associate professor Alison Sills and her colleagues-Nathan Leigh, a PhD student in Physics & Astronomy at McMaster, and Christian Knigge, Reader in the School of Physics and Astronomy at Southampton University, have found evidence for “stellar cannibalism” as a mechanism for explaining the extended lifetime of blue stragglers which are massive rogue stars that exist in globular clusters.
January 15, 2009
After undergoing extensive renovations the William J. McCallion Planetarium has its grand reopening today with public shows beginning January 28 with titles that include “The Seven Ways a Black Hole Can Kill You” and “The Power of the Dark Side: How Dark Matter and Dark Energy Dominate Our Universe.”