Page 7 - 2012-03-31

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SPRING 2012 07
P
erimeter is pleased to announce the appointment of Ashvin
Vishwanath as a Distinguished Research Chair (DRC).
DRCs come to Perimeter for extended periods each year
to do research; the program enables them to be part of the
Institute’s scientific community while retaining permanent
positions at their home institutions. Vishwanath’s appointment
brings the total number of DRCs to 28.
Vishwanath is an Associate Professor in the Department of
Physics at the University of California, Berkeley. His primary
field of research is condensed matter theory, with a focus on
magnetism, superconductivity, and other correlated quantum
phenomena in solids and cold atomic gases. He is particularly
interested in novel phenomena, such as topological phases of
matter, non-fermi liquids, and quantum spin liquids. Vishwanath
and collaborators showed that a novel phase transition can
appear in a quantum magnet, which was long believed to
be impossible. He has recently been interested in realizing
Majorana and Weyl fermions in solids and in using concepts
from quantum information, such as entanglement entropy, to
characterize novel phases of matter.
Perimeter’s newest DRC already has many ties to the Institute’s
researchers. His long-time collaborators include fellow DRCs
Subir Sachdev and Senthil Todadri, with whom he’s excited to
renew collaborations. He has also worked with DRC Ganapathy
Baskaran and Xiao-Gang Wen, the inaugural BMO Financial
Group Isaac Newton Chair, during his years as a student and
postdoctoral researcher.
On joining Perimeter’s scientific community, Vishwanath said,
“I am honoured and also very pleased to have the opportunity
to visit Perimeter on a regular basis and interact with its many
excellent faculty, postdocs, and other DRCs. Perimeter’s focus
on high impact research that cuts across traditional boundaries
strongly resonates with me. In addition to leading researchers
in condensed matter theory, having the opportunity to interact
with researchers in other related areas is a strong draw.”
Among his honours, Vishwanath has received a Sloan Research
Fellowship (2004), the CAREER Award of the National Science
Foundation (2007), the Outstanding Young Scientist Award
of the American Chapter of Indian Physicists (2010), and the
Simons Foundation Sabbatical Fellowship (2012).
Mike Brown
Ashvin Vishwanath Named
Distinguished Research Chair
F
or over 20 years, Arthur B. McDonald has been the
Director of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO),
one of Canada’s most ambitious physics experiments.
Working in the observatory, located two kilometres below the
earth’s surface in the Creighton nickel mine, he led a team
of international collaborators in discovering that elementary
sub-atomic particles, called neutrinos, change from one
type to another while traveling from the sun to the earth. The
SNO experiment also confirmed that neutrinos have a tiny
but nonzero mass. Now, Perimeter is pleased to welcome
McDonald to its Board of Directors.
McDonald holds the Gordon and Patricia Gray Chair in Particle
Astrophysics at Queen’s University. He has received numerous
awards for his research, including the 2011 Henry Marshall
Tory Medal from the Royal Society of Canada and the 2007
Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics, alongside researcher Yoji
Totsuka. He was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in
2007.
McDonald currently works on the SNO+ experiment at the
international SNOLAB, researching an accurate measurement
of neutrino mass and helping to explain the processes that
generate matter in the early universe. He is also involved with
DEAP-3600, a new international experiment searching for dark
matter particles.
“We are deeply honoured to have Art McDonald joining
Perimeter’s Board of Directors,” said Neil Turok, Perimeter’s
Director. “He is both a world-renowned
scientist and a true Canadian
pioneer, having demonstrated
with the SNO project that
Canada can be one of the
world’s pre-eminent locations
for groundbreaking discoveries
in particle astrophysics. Art’s
expertise and wise guidance will
be invaluable to Perimeter as we
continue to grow.”
RJ Taylor
Arthur B. McDonald Joins Board of Directors