McMaster physicist awarded 2019 Brockhouse Medal

A man stands in a lab behind a tangle of wires

There are a lot of connections between McMaster physicist and Nobel laureate Bertram Brockhouse and Graeme Luke, the chair of Mac’s department of physics and astronomy.

For one thing, they were colleagues at Mac – Brockhouse toward the end of his career, Luke near the beginning of his. (They actually had offices next to each other.)

Beyond the physical proximity, though, Brockhouse’s work also made Luke’s work in quantum materials possible, developing the fundamental tools, techniques and even the language that Luke uses now in his research.

So it’s fitting that Luke is the recipient of the 2019 Brockhouse Medal, awarded by the Canadian Association of Physics to “recognize and encourage outstanding experimental or theoretical contributions to condensed matter and materials physics.”

Luke is an international leader in studying the physical properties of new quantum materials and is being recognized for his ground-breaking experimental studies on new quantum magnets and superconductors with remarkable physical properties.

Luke’s studies were conducted at the Centre for Crystal Growth in McMaster’s Brockhouse Institute for Materials Research where the new materials were synthesized, and at the TRIUMF laboratories in Vancouver, where he works with new magnets and superconductors using beams of rare muon particles.

“I am honoured to be the 2019 Brockhouse Medal recipient,” says Luke. “I consider myself extremely fortunate to be a member of the Canadian physics community and to have the opportunity to work with wonderful colleagues, collaborators and students. I am very grateful for the support provided by McMaster University’s Brockhouse Institute for Materials Research and TRIUMF’s Centre for Molecular and Materials Science, where much of my research is performed.

“Graeme is an outstanding colleague, collaborator and mentor to students in our Department of Physics and Astronomy,” says Maureen MacDonald, dean of the Faculty of Science. “We are thrilled that the Canadian Association of Physicists is honouring his contributions and achievements as an internationally recognized researcher.”

Luke is the fourth McMaster scientist to receive the prestigious Brockhouse Medal. Previous McMaster recipients of the prize include Kari Dalnoki-Veress (2013), Bruce Gaulin (2011), and Tom Timusk (2000).

The Canadian Association of Physicists established the Brockhouse Medal in 1999, five years after Brockhouse was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics.

Luke will receive his medal in Vancouver on June 5.

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