2020 Medal Recipient Talks


Mark your calendars!

The CAP is inviting you to attend our virtual Medal Talks & Award Ceremony Day taking place on December 22, 2020 from 11:00 – 15:30 Eastern Time (US & Canada).


PROGRAM  (all times are EST) : 

11:00 – 11:30 :
Eric Hessels,
CAP Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Physics

Missed Dr. Hessels’ talk?   Click here to see it on the CAP’s YouTube channel.

11:30 – 12:00 :
Ken Ragan,
CAP Medal for Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Physics

Missed Dr. Ragan’s talk?   Click here to see it on the CAP’s YouTube channel.

14:00 – 14:30 :
Ebrahim Karimi,
CAP Herzberg Medal

Missed Dr. Karimi’s talk?  Click here to see it on the CAP’s YouTube channel.

14:30 – 15:00 :
Gordon C. Ball,
CAP-TRIUMF Vogt Medal in Subatomic Physics

Missed Dr. Ball’s talk?  Click here to see it on the CAP’s YouTube channel.

15:00 – 15:30 :
Medal ceremony with CAP President, Rob Thompson
(each winner will give a short acceptance speech)



Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 897 7497 4371
Passcode: 965287

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11:00 – 11:30 | Eric Hessels

“Precision atomic and molecular measurements to test fundamental physics: Measuring the proton size, the fine-structure constant, the electron electric dipole moment”

Precision measurements of the hydrogen Lamb shift, helium n=2 triplet P fine structure, and of the electron electric dipole moment will be discussed. The hydrogen Lamb shift measurement can be used test quantum electrodynamics (QED) and to determine the charge radius of the proton, thus helping to resolve the decade-old proton radius puzzle. The helium fine structure measurement also tests QED, and, with sufficiently precise QED theory, can be used to determine the fine-structure constant. Finally, the electron electric dipole moment is being measured using polar molecules embedded into an inert-gas solid. This technique shows promise for extremely high precision measurements of the electron electric dipole moment, which can be used to test CP violation. The method has the potential to test physics at higher energies than those available at the large hadron collider, and to shed light on the surprising imbalance between matter and antimatter in the universe.


11:30 – 12:00 | Ken Ragan

“Remote teaching in a pandemic – what (if anything!) have we learned?”

Most university-level educators and students are just now at the end of their first complete semester of pandemic-induced remote teaching. I will explore the (possibly heretical?) idea that, amidst the dizzying changes, there may be things we’d like to keep or positive lessons we’ve learned about our students, our teaching, or the educational process. I’ll try to structure this talk as a conversation – audience participation welcomed and encouraged!


14:00 – 14:30 | Ebrahim Karimi

“Structured Quantum Waves”

The quantum mechanical principle of wave-particle duality is not limited to light and its constituent photons. Indeed, matter can also be made to exhibit wavelike behaviour, as dramatically demonstrated by numerous experiments in diffractive electron optics. Remarkably, the wave like properties of matter suggest that the very same techniques used to structure beams of light can be applied to shaping matter waves. In my talk, I will present the recent progress, challenges and development in structuring photon, electron and neutron beams. Their applications in different research fields such as high-dimensional quantum cryptography and materials science will also be the subject of my talk.


14:30 – 15:00 | Gordon C. Ball

“Superallowed Fermi β-Decay Studies at TRIUMF-ISAC: Testing CVC and CKM Unitarity”

High-precision measurements for superallowed Fermi b decays between isobaric analogue states provide demanding tests of the electroweak Standard Model (SM) including: the most precise test of the Conserved Vector Current (CVC) hypothesis, the most stringent limits on maximally parity violating weak scalar currents and, in combination with muon decay, the most precise determination of the up-down (Vud) element of the Cabibbo-Kobayashi-Maskawa (CKM) quark-mixing matrix.  Since the ISAC facility produces high-quality rare isotope beams with world-record intensities, the potential for high scientific impact in this field was recognized early.   State-of-the-art capabilities were developed for high-precision measurements of all three experimental quantities of interest namely: b decay Q-value determinations through mass measurements with the TITAN Penning trap facility, half-life measurements through both b counting with the 4π gas proportional counter and fast tape transport system and g counting with the 8p g-ray spectrometer, and superallowed branching ratio measurements with the 8p spectrometer that was superseded by GRIFFIN in 2014.  Over the past two decades our collaboration has also pioneered new experimental techniques that have enabled measurements with ever increasing precision. Highlights of this program and its impact on tests of the electroweak SM together with future prospects, will be presented.