Canadian Association of Physicists ASSOCIATION CANADIENNE DES



awarded to


"It was a great surprise as well as a remarkable honour to be awarded the 1999 Herzberg Medal"

Dr. Robert C. MyersOttawa, April 15th, 1999 - The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) is pleased to announce that the 1999 CAP Herzberg Medal for outstanding achievement by a physicist under the age of 40 will be awarded to Dr. Robert Myers, Associate Professor of Physics at McGill, for his fundamental contributions to the understanding of black holes and quantum gravity.

Black holes are a remarkable prediction of Einstein's general realtivity, from which not even light can escape. They can be produced in stellar collapse and have been observed astronomically. Black holes are considered to be thermal systems with a finite temperature (which leads to radiation) possessing an entropy. Confirmation of this thermal character by statistical-mechanical calculations eluded researchers for twenty-five years.

Robert Myers and his collaborators were the first to firmly establish the connection between the string state counting and the black hole entropy. Their work included adding angular momentum to the black holes, and howing how to perform the calculations for four-dimensional black holes. These calculations represent a dramatic breakthrough in our understanding since, for the first time, we have some insight into the underlying microscopic degrees of freedom for a black hole. Dr. Myers has made a large number of other fundamental contributions. This is all the more significant for this country because he is the only theoretical physicist in Canada working in this exciting field of fundamental physics.

For his observations on the possible consequences in black-hole evaporation, Dr. Myers was awarded the 1997 Prize by the Gravity Research Foundation. This award made him one of only two persons to have ever won the first prize in this annual essay competition (he also won the 1995 competition). He is also the recipient of numerous fellowships and scholarships. In 1982, Robert placed first in the CAP's national Lloyd G. Elliott (University Prize) Examination.

Dr. Myers received his B.Sc. from the University of Waterloo in 1982 and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1983 and 1986 respectively. After working as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of California, Santa Barbara (1986-1989), Dr. Myers returned to Canada when he accepted a position as Assistant Professor at McGill University. He became Associate Professor in 1994.

The CAP Herzberg Medal was first introduced in 1970 and is awarded annually. The 1999 Medal will be presented to Dr. Myers during the CAP's awards banquet to be held at the University of New Brunswick on 1999 June 8th.

The Canadian Association of Physicists, founded in 1945, is a professional association representing over 1600 individual physicists and physics students in Canada, the U.S. and overseas, as well as a number of Corporate and Departmental Members. In addition to its learned activities, the CAP also undertakes a number of activities intended to encourage students to pursue a career in physics.

For more information, please contact:

Canadian Association of Physicists
Tel: (613) 562-5614
Fax: (613) 562-5615

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