Three UBC physicists receive national honours

The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) awarded medals to three UBC physicists today, recognizing their work in quantum materials, particle physics, and theoretical high energy physics. It’s the largest number of CAP medal recipients the University has enjoyed in any one year.

Andrea Damascelli, director of UBC’s Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute, was awarded the 2018 CAP/DCMMP Brockhouse Medal for his contributions and leadership in the investigation of quantum solids and surfaces. The award cited Damascelli’s work on strongly-correlated systems through the design and development of unique angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy instruments. The work advances understanding of the electronic structure of some of the most challenging, and most studied, materials in condensed matter physics.

The CAP Brockhouse Medal, sponsored jointly by the Division of Condensed Matter and Materials Physics (DCMMP) and CAP, recognizes outstanding experimental or theoretical contributions to condensed matter and materials physics. It is named in honour of Bertram Brockhouse, whose outstanding contributions to research in condensed matter physics in Canada were recognized by the 1994 Nobel Prize for Physics.

Alison Lister, an associate professor in the department of Physics and Astronomy, is an experimental particle physicist working on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN to search for evidence of physics beyond the Standard Model. She is awarded the 2018 CAP Herzberg Medal for her many leadership roles in the ATLAS experiment and for the breadth of her contributions in particle physics, including the discovery of the Higgs boson, precision measurements of the top quark, new limits on physics beyond the Standard Model, and innovative efforts in using machine learning in experimental particle physics.

The CAP Herzberg Medal recognizes outstanding achievement in any field of research by an early career Canadian physicist (i.e. successfully defended their doctoral thesis within the 12 years prior to the award).

Ariel Zhitnitsky received the 2018 CAP-CRM Prize in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics for his ground-breaking contributions to theoretical high energy physics. In particular, Zhitnitsky was cited for his development of the ‘invisible axion’ model – the publication of which has garnered more than 1,000 citations and influenced experimental searches – and for his work on the vacuum structure of non-Abelian gauge theories.

The CAP-CRM Prize in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics, awarded jointly by CAP and Centre de Recherches Mathématiques (CRM), recognizes research excellence in the fields of theoretical and mathematical physics.

The Canadian Association of Physicists, founded in 1945, is a professional association representing over 1,600 individual physicists and physics students in Canada, the U.S. and overseas, as well as a number of corporate, institutional, and departmental members. In addition to its learned activities, the CAP, through its charitable arm - the CAP Foundation, also undertakes a number of activities intended to encourage students to pursue a career in physics.

The CAP 2018 medals will be presented to the recipients during the Medallists' Recognition Banquet in Halifax on Wednesday, June 13, 2018.

For a complete list of CAP medal receipients, visit the CAP announcement.

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