Donald Sprung took his Ph.D. with G.E. Brown and R.E. Peierls, in Birmingham. Following a post-doctoral year at Cornell with Hans A. Bethe, he joined the McMaster faculty in 1962. Research leaves have taken him to M.I.T. in 1964-5, Orsay in 1969-70, Tuebingen in 1980-81, Japan, China and Australia in 1985-6, Mainz in 1990 and Barcelona in 1991. He served as Dean of the Faculty of Science from 1975-84, and Chair of the Department from 1991-7. Notable honours include the Herzberg Medal of the C.A.P. in 1972, Fellowship of the Royal Society of Canada in 1980, and the CAP Gold Medal for Achievement in Physics, in 1997. He is a Fellow of the APS and the IOP (LOndon). A recurring theme of his research has been the nucleon-nucleon interaction and its role in nuclear structure. In the 1960's, with M.K. Srivastava, the super-soft core potential model was discovered. This was developed into a realistic potential that has been widely used in three-body calculations. Out of nuclear matter studies, an "effective interaction" was developed and applied in Hartree-Fock calculations with X. Campi in the 1970's. They were deeply involved in the development of "model-independent" methods for deducing the density profile of real nuclei from elastic electron scattering data. In the 1980's, a series of papers with S. Klarsfeld and J. Martorell related the properties of the deuteron to the long distance part of the nuclear force. More recently, he has turned his attention to mesoscopic systems. These are narrow two-dimensional channels in which electrons propagate as waves rather than as particles. With Hua Wu, quantum chaos has been another topic of current interest.
One-dimensional photonic crystals, especially solvable examples