Competition 2020-2021

The Division of Nuclear Physics (DNP) of the Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) is pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2020-21 DNP PhD Thesis Prize is Dr. Ryan Dunlop.

Dr. Ryan Dunlop

Photo of Dr. Ryan Dunlop

Dr. Dunlop was awarded his Ph.D. by the University of Guelph in 2019 for his thesis entitled: “Measurement of r-process nuclei 128-130Cd and 131In with the Gamma-Ray Infrastructure for Fundamental Investigations of Nuclei (GRIFFIN)”, under the supervision of Dr. Carl Svensson (Guelph).

Dr. Dunlop’s thesis focused on measurements of astrophysically relevant nuclei using the GRIFFIN gamma-ray spectrometer at TRIUMF. The structures of N = 82 nuclei below doubly-magic 132Sn are crucial for calculations of the astrophysical r-process as these isotopes form `waiting-points’ that play an important role in the formation and shape of the second r-process abundance peak. Many of the most neutron-rich N=82 nuclei are, however, out of reach to the current generation of radioactive beam facilities and their properties must be predicted. The measurements performed by Dr. Dunlop’s helped to resolve a long-standing problem with systematic discrepancies in the calculations of the half-lives of neutron-rich N=82 nuclei.

Dr. Dunlop is invited to give a talk at the upcoming CAP Annual Congress and will receive a cash award of $1,000 from the DNP. A two-page summary of his thesis work will appear in an upcoming issue of Physics in Canada.

The selection for the 2020-21 Prize was adjudicated by a committee consisting of Charles Gale (McGill University), Blair Jamieson (University of Winnipeg), and Timothy Friesen (University of Calgary). We thank the judges for volunteering their time to review the submitted theses. Three theses were nominated, and all of them were based on high-quality research and 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.

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.