2009 Medal Winners | francais

The 2009 CAP/DCMMP Brockhouse Medal

is awarded to

Michel Gingras

"I am most honoured to have been awarded the 2009 Brockhouse Medal and to be included into this group of celebrated condensed matter physicists. I take this opportunity to thank my students, post-docs and experimental colleagues for their many key contributions to the research projects that led to this award." winner citation

The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) is pleased to announce that the 2009 CAP/DCMMP Brockhouse Medal is awarded to Michel Gingras, University of Waterloo, for his seminal contributions to the statistical mechanics description of random disordered systems and geometrically frustrated magnetic systems. Dr. Gingras is an internationally recognized leader in this field with an outstanding publication record whose work has served (quoting Dr. Thomas Rosenbaum, J.T. Wilson Distinguished Service Professor, University of Chicago) “to point the community as a whole to a new perspective on how local disorder and frustration can be connected to a material’s macroscopic response”. announcement

Michel Gingras is an internationally renowned expert in the field of magnetism, with a focus in highly frustrated magnetism. In frustrated magnets, interacting magnetic moments have no obvious way to find a ground state that uniquely minimizes the energy. This can give rise to new types of classical and quantum mechanical states of matter. One example is spin ice, a state of matter manifest in crystals such as the rare-earth based pyrochlores. In the frustrated magnetism community, Michel is clearly recognized as a kind of “father” of this now broadly-appreciated and beautiful set of physical phenomena. The spin ice pyrochlores are broadly considered a triumph in the field of highly frustrated magnetism. The work of Michel Gingras and his colleagues on spin-ice is exemplary groundbreaking work, carried out from start to finish with elegance, physical insight and attention to detail that finally led to decisive scientific conclusions. While this aspect of Michel’s research has gained probably the greatest notoriety, it is by no means a singular example of his work. Instead, Michel has established a consistent pattern of pursuing experimental materials phenomena from model-building to analysis to quantitative comparison with experiment, in a broad variety of magnetic materials. In addition, Dr. Gingras is one of the rare theorists who is willing to get into the trenches with experimentalists to work out a detailed understanding of experimental data, the true hallmark of an outstanding physicist. Michel Gingras’ scientific accomplishments have been paralleled by his generous support of the community, notably through his leadership in the initiation of the international “Highly Frustrated Magnetism” conference series. Michel Gingras is thus in many ways an international leader in the fundamental and very active field of frustrated magnetic systems. His research has had worldwide impact and is clearly poised to have even more impact in the future. nominator citation

Michel Gingras will receive the 2009 CAP/DCMMP Brockhouse Medal during the CAP's awards banquet to be held at the Université de Moncton in Moncton, New Brunswick, on June 9th, 2009.

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