in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics

awarded to


Dr. Gordon SemenoffOttawa, March 21th, 2000 - The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) and the Centre de recherches mathématiques (CRM) are pleased to announce that the 2000 CAP-CRM Prize in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics will be awarded to G. Semenoff, a Professor of Physics at the University of British Columbia, for his wide-ranging contributions to quantum field theory, statistical mechanics and string theory.

Dr. Semenoff is a theoretical physicist who has made contributions to quantum field theory, statistical mechanics, and string theory. His work is abstract and mathematical in nature and recently has focused on string theory.

The technical nature of Gordon's contributions make it difficult to explain their significance to the non-expert. This should not be interpreted as an indication that the work is not important. Consider string theory for example. Although string theory is underrepresented in Canada, many (most?) of the best mathematical physicists in the world have concentrated on this subject. According to Semenoff, the reason for this is that "string theory has solved the problem of divergences of black holes and actually comes tantalizingly close to giving a derivation of a supersymmetrized version of the standard model."

Dr. Semenoff has developed real-time computational methods in quantum field theory at finite temperatures, defined Feynman rules, and formulated an analogue of the Cutkosky rules for computing absorptive parts of Green functions. He has demonstrated the use of index theorems to calculate quantum numbers of solitons in field theory. Initially with Niemi, he derived descent equations and relationships between anomalies in different dimensions. He explained how anyons appear in quantum field theory and also derived the only version of Chern-Simons term in lattice field theory. With Makeenko, he developed the first solution of the unitary matrix model in a background field. He found an extralocal gauge symmetry in the Kazakov-Migdal model which is a lattice gauge theory of induced quantum chromodynamics. He obtained an exact solution of a variety of matrix models that resemble Coulomb gas models of quarks. He has studied realizations of supersymmetry and interactions of extended objects in superstring theory.

Dr. Semenoff received his B.Sc. with first class honors in Physics from the University of Alberta in 1976. He attended graduate school at the University of Alberta where he received his Ph.D. in theoretical physics in 1981. Since 1990 he has been a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of British Columbia. He was also a Visiting Professor at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen from January to June 1999.

Dr. Semenoff has received a number of honours including a Killam Research Prize (1989), the MacDowell Medal for Achievement in Physics (1991), and the National Bank of Denmark Award (1999).

The annual CAP-CRM Prize in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics was first introduced in 1995. Dr. Semenoff will receive the 2000 Prize during the CAP's awards banquet to be held at York University on June 6th, 2000.

The Centre de recherches mathématiques is a national research centre in mathematics and theoretical physics jointly supported by the federal government, the province of Quebec, and the Université de Montréal where it is based. Among the activities of the CRM are thematic years, summer schools, workshops, seminars, and the publication of monographs, proceedings, and lecture notes in mathematics and physics.

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

or Centre de recherche mathématiques
Tel: (514) 343-7501 Fax: (514) 343-2254

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