Competition 2014-2015

The Division of Nuclear Physics (DNP) of the Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) is pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2014-15 DNP Thesis Prize is Timothy Friesen. Dr. Friesen was awarded his Ph.D. by the University of Calgary in 2014 for the work “Probing Trapped Antihydrogen: In Situ Diagnostics and Observations of Quantum Transitions”. He was supervised by Robert Thompson and co-supervised by Makoto Fujiwara. This work was completed at the University of Calgary, at TRIUMF, and at CERN within the ALPHA Collaboration, which is a multinational collaboration of 40-50 scientists based at CERN and working towards the goal of generating, storing, and carrying out high precision measurements on antihydrogen as a test of the fundamental symmetries. Dr. Friesen’s thesis research focused on characterizing and developing non-destructive diagnostic tools based on the plasma modes of the matter and antimatter plasmas present in this experiment. This work led to novel, creative, effective, and indispensable results in in-situ diagnostic measurements of the electromagnetic fields within the apparatus. Specifically, his mode techniques were able to accurately map the magnetic field strength within the trapping volume of the ALPHA apparatus and, additionally, he was able to spatially map the electromagnetic microwave field distribution of microwave pulses injected down the principal axis of the apparatus. These results were key to the first-ever achievement of observations of quantum transitions in trapped antihydrogen, published in Nature in 2012.

Dr. Friesen gave an invited talk at the CAP Annual Congress in June 2016 held in Ottawa, and also received a cash award of $1000 from the DNP. His travel expenses were generously covered by TRIUMF. A two page summary of his thesis work will appear in an issue of Physics in Canada.

This prize was set up in 2005 by the DNP, to be awarded in Experimental or Theoretical Nuclear Physics to any student receiving their Ph.D. degree from a Canadian University in the current or prior calendar year. The selection for the 2014-15 Prize was adjudicated by a committee consisting of Gerald Gwinner (DNP Chair-Elect, University of Manitoba), Aleksandrs Aleksejevs (Memorial University), Iris Dillmann (TRIUMF), and George Lolos (University of Regina). Seven theses were nominated, and all of them were very well written providing for a healthy competition. We would like to thank all of the nominees and the persons who wrote letters of support for their participation in this year’s competition.