Canadian Association of Physicists ASSOCIATION CANADIENNE DES


2004 CAP Herzberg Medal

will be awarded to


"It is a tremendous honour to have my work so appreciated by my peers; getting paid to have fun doing research is one thing, but being given so major an award for simply doing what I love is some surprising icing on the cake."

Dr. Victoria KaspiThe Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) is pleased to announce that the 2004 Herzberg Medal is awarded to Dr. Victoria Kaspi, McGill University, for her contributions to astrophysics, including her work on neutron stars, pulsars and supernovae remnants.

Victoria Kaspi is internationally renowned for her work on neutron stars, pulsars and supernovae remnants. She did her undergraduate education at McGill University where she completed her BSc in 1989. She then went to pursue graduate studies at Princeton University under the supervision of Nobel Prize winner Prof. Joseph Taylor receiving an MA and then a PhD in Physics in 1993. After completion of her graduate studies, Victoria won a prestigious Hubble Postdoctoral Fellowship and joined the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She simultaneously held a visiting associate position at the California Institute of Technology Astronomy Department. In 1997 she was appointed Assistant Professor in the Physics Department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1999 she joined McGill University as an Associate Professor.

Victoria Kaspi has received many awards and honors. Among them, in 1998 she received an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship and was awarded the Annie Jump Canon Award in Astronomy. In 2001 she was awarded one of the first Canadian Research Chairs. Recently, she has been made a Fellow in the Cosmology and Gravity Program of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIAR). She was awarded one of the CIAR Young Explorer Prizes which recognizes Canada's top 20 researchers aged 40 and under in science and engineering as chosen by a panel of international judges.

Her research activities revolve around addressing fundamental questions regarding the nature and astrophysics of neutron stars and pulsars that are among the most exotic members of our Galaxy. Their properties are of considerable interest in understanding the properties of matter at extremely high densities and magnetic fields. Her research that addresses these issues makes use of major radio telescope facilities worldwide and makes also significant use of major new satellite X-ray telescope facilities.

Using NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer, she led the team which made the first demonstration that the objects known as soft gamma repeaters and anomalous X-Ray pulsars are both magnetars, i.e. extremely magnetized neutrons stars. This is one of the major and most significant astrophysical discoveries of recent years. She is also well known for her work associating pulsars with nebulous remnants of supernova explosions and on the precision timing of anomalous X-ray pulsars that can be use as excellent test precision relativistic dynamics.

As her record shows, Vicky Kaspi is an exceptionally talented physicist. Her important work is being done at the cutting edge of current research in astrophysics, and indeed of all science.

The CAP Herzberg Medal was first introduced in 1970 and is awarded annually. Dr. Kaspi will receive the 2004 Prize during the CAP's awards banquet to be held at the Delta Hotel in Winnipeg on June 15th, 2004.

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