2003 Department News
December 24, 2003
Hugh Couchman, professor of physics and astronomy, has been appointed the Scientific Director ofSHARCNET(Shared Hierarchical Academic Research Computing Network), a multi-institutional high performance computer network system. Dr. Couchman has been a significant contributor to SHARCNET over the last few years, being one of the original grant writers and founders of the organization.
December 12, 2003
An obituary of Bertram N. Brockhouse (1918–2003), written byTom Timusk, a physics and astronomy researcher at McMaster, appears in the December issue ofNature.
November 26, 2003
McMaster astrophysicist,Christine Wilson, is the Canadian project scientist for the international ALMA project (Atacama Large Millimetre Array). The project has just received a .9 million investment from the Canada Foundation for Innovation.
November 19, 2003
Cecile Fradin, assistant professor of physics & astronomy and biochemistry, is among five budding Ontario researchers to receive the prestigious John Charles Polanyi Prize. The prize is named for the 1986 Nobel Prize in Chemistry recipient, John Polanyi, and is awarded annually to outstanding researchers early in their careers. Fradin's research involves the use of laser optics to study the dynamics of molecules inside biological systems.
October 23, 2003
Catherine Kallin, professor of physics and astronomy, has been appointed theCanada Research Chairin theTheory of Quantum Materials. Kallin studies condensed matter physics and quantum materials and her work is directed toward the development of new devices, finding new applications for quantum computers, magnetic resonance imaging and satellite communications.
October 22, 2003
Distinguished scientistsRalph PudritzandSir Martin Rees, who are at McMaster this week to share their knowledge of the universe and lasers, appeared onCBC Radio's Quirks & QuarksOct. 11. Listen to anmp3of this topic or visit the site to download the Ogg file -- an audio compression format.
October 14, 2003
It is with deep regret that we inform you that Prof. Bertram N. Brockhouse passed away yesterday in Hamilton, Ontario. Dr. Brockhouse was a heroic figure in the development of neutron scattering as a technique to study materials at a microscopic level. His invention of the triple axis neutron spectrometer and the "constant-Q" technique for inelastic scattering allowed the first detailed determination of the dispersion relations for spin and lattice vibrations in solids. These in turn allowed for a detailed microscopic understanding of the forces present between atoms in materials, and for the nature of atomic motion in solids. He was recognized for these achievements at the highest level, culminating with the 1994 Nobel Prize in Physics, which he shared with Cliff Shull of MIT.
Bert was a remarkably modest individual, and always a fine gentleman. We mourn his passing, and offer our sincere condolences to his family and close friends. Ultimately however, we look back on a magnificent life of accomplishment in science.
September 4, 2003
J.J. Kavelaars, a former research associate in McMaster's Department of Physics & Astronomy, was one of three astronomers who discovered 12 new moons around Saturn in the fall of 2000. The moons were given Inuktitut names last month at the Astronomical Union's meeting in Sydney, Australia. Kavelaars is currently a research officer working at the National Research Council of Canada's Herzberg Institute for Astrophysics in Victora, BC.
(CBC Online News, Sept. 3, 2003)
August 29, 2003
Kari Dalnoki-Veressgets the front page treatment in the September 2003 issue of theMcMaster Review.Allison Sillsand Dalnoki-Veress, both professors of physics and astronomy, were co-applicants in a project to develop demonstrations to make introductory physics courses more engaging to undergraduate students. The article outlines departmental grants provided by theCentre for Leadership and Learning(CLL).
Click here for the original story by Andrew Vowles(PDF, 460 kB)
August 5, 2003
Gregory Morozov was hailed as a hero for his heroic efforts for jumping into the lake in Point Pelee to save an 18-year-old boy from drowning. Morozov, 30, didn't feel particularly heroic as he described the incident in the presence of his postdoctoral supervisor, Donald Sprung, at McMaster University. He also felt a little embarrassed by all the media attention. "I just did what I was able to do," he said as he groped for the right words to explain his feelings. But he was clearly disappointed he couldn't save the brother.
(The Hamilton Spectator, July 30, 2003)
July 22, 2003
The McMasterdailynewsreprises theMcMaster Reviewstory ofCecile Fradin, assistant professor of physics & astronomy and biochemistry, who holds aCanada Research Chairin Molecular Biophysics. Her research involves the use of lasers to study the dynamics of cells.
June 23, 2003
The McMasterdailynewsWeb of the Week focuses on theFaces of Innovationand those people who exemplify the spirit of research here at the university. Among the Faces from the department areBruce Gaulin,Christine Wilson,Catherine Kallin, andHugh Couchman.
June 9, 2003
Alison Sills, professor of physics and astronomy, is the subject of an article in theEnterprise(PDF, 62 kB) section of the June issue of theMcMaster Review. The recipient of the 2002 Polanyi Prize for physics, Sills is the only one in Canada of a worldwide few studying the dynamics of globular clusters and star collisions.
May 5, 2003
Andy Duncan, a technician in the department, appears in theLasting Impression(PDF, 132 kB) section of the May issue of theMcMaster Reviewin his role as the commissioner of the McMaster three-pitch co-ed softball league. Playing since 1981, Duncan is also the scheduler for the popular league that began more than 40 years ago with games between the physics and chemistry departments.
April 29, 2003
Jim Waddington, professor of physics and astronomy, is the 2003 recipient of the President's Award for Excellence in Instruction. This Award was established in 1993 to recognize outstanding contributions to education at McMaster. Jim Waddington has taught introductory physics courses for the past 30 years and has been nominated for the MSU Teaching Award 12 times. He won the Physics Club Teaching Award in 1989. This Award includes an honorarium, a citation of excellence and a memento to be presented at the Spring Convocation, as well as a place on McMaster's Wall of Recognition.
January 14, 2003
Two McMaster undergraduates, Wesley Fraser and Dan Milisavljevic, have helped J.J. Kavelaars of the National Research Council of Canada and an international astronomical research team find three new moons of Neptune.