Canadian Association of Physicists ASSOCIATION CANADIENNE DES



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"The CAP Medal recognizes that fundamental ideas are at the heart of science and that, with students and other colleagues, we have made a difference."

Dr. William (Bill) BuyersOttawa, April 20th, 2001 - The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) is pleased to announce that its premier medal, the 2001 CAP Medal of Achievement in Physics, will be awarded to Dr. William J.L. (Bill) Buyers of the National Research Council at the Chalk River Laboratories Physics, for for his development of neutron scattering techniques for the study of magnetic phenomena in metals and insulators, and for his leadership role in the Canadian neutron scattering community.

Dr. W.J.L. Buyers has established a body of work pertaining to magnetic phenomena in metals and insulators that is very impressive both in its scope and impact. This work is based on neutron scattering techniques and contains both elegant experimental studies and the development of a theoretical framework with which these experiments could be understood. His early work was important in establishing the nature of spin waves and crystal field excitations in model magnetic materials and the nature of impurities in magnetic insulators. In the 1980's he focused on quasi-one-dimensional magnetic insulators and excitations, or solitons, in the Ising-like quantum spin chains. Dr. Buyers' interest in quantum magnetism culminated in the first observation of the "Haldane Gap" in the spin spectrum of a spin-1 antiferromagnetic chain compund. This discovery confirmed a highly controversial speculation by theorist D.M. Haldane, overturned the wisdom of the day, and ushered in a host of experimental and theoretical studies worldwide that continue to this day. His definitive studies and much-quoted review of actinide magnetism led to major insights into the behaviour of a new class of heavy-fermion superconductors where he demonstrated co-existence of magnetism and superconductivity.

In addition, Dr. Buyers has assumed a leadership role in the Canadian neutron scattering community, having served as both Manager of the Neutron and Condensed Matter Science Branch at AECL, and as President of the Canadian Institute for Neutron Scattering (CINS) for three terms. He was instrumental in arranging the transfer of the Chalk River neutron scattering group from AECL to NRC, and continues to be a driving force in the effort to secure a new, modern, national neutron source, the Canadian Neutron Facility.

The CAP Medal for Achievement in Physics was introduced in 1956 and is awarded annually. The 2001 Medal will be presented to Dr. Buyers during the CAP's awards banquet to be held at the University of Victoria on June 19th, 2001.

The Canadian Association of Physicists was founded in 1945 and represents over 1600 individual physicists and physics students as well as Corporate and Departmental Members. In addition to its learned-society activities, the CAP is active in the areas of professionalism, science policy and the promotion of scientific research and education.

For more information, please contact:
Canadian Association of Physicists
Tel: (613) 562-5614
Fax: (613) 562-5615