2016 Medal Winners | francais

The 2016 CAP Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Physics

is awarded to

Gilles Fontaine

"I am deeply honored to have been selected the recipient of this prestigious national award. I feel privileged to live in a country where I could fulfill my teenage dreams of pursuing a research career in physics." winner citation

The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) is pleased to announce that the 2016 CAP Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Physics is awarded to Gilles Fontaine, Université de Montréal, for his pioneering, world-renowned work in theoretical and observational studies of white dwarf stars and the late stages of stellar evolution, including major contributions to the equation of state for white dwarfs and investigations of pulsating compact stars, as well as the discovery of a new class of subdwarf pulsators. His leadership has built what is arguably the preeminent group in the world in this field. announcement

A true follower of the tradition of excellence in the field of astrophysics in Canada, Professor Fontaine has distinguished himself internationally for the exceptional quality of his research in stellar astrophysics, especially for his study on the final phases of stellar evolution (white dwarfs and subdwarfs, the final products of stellar evolution for most stars). Not only did he build the foundations for an actual theory on the evolution of white dwarfs, he is also one of the pioneers who first used them as cosmochronometers independent from the other components of our galaxy. He also became a true leader in the field of astroseismology, the unique method by which we can examine the internal structure of stars by studying their “starquakes”, using observations and numerical modeling. His work in science, popular worldwide, has earned him multiples prizes and awards.

As a prolific writer, Professor Fontaine has also made a remarkable contribution by training great scientists. Most of his former students have received local and national awards for the exceptional quality of their doctoral theses. By creating a world renowned research team, Mr Fontaine has encouraged numerous foreign students in pursuing postgraduate education. Finally, he has proven in different ways that he is an incredible teacher and a great communicator. With his actions, he has undoubtedly contributed to building scientific vocations. nominator citation

- 30 -