2009 Medal Winners | francais

The 2009 CAP Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Physics

is awarded to

Richard Peltier

""I'm both delighted and honored to be named the 2009 recipient of the CAP Medal for Achievement in Physics. I consider the award to equally acknowledge the efforts of the talented students and post doctoral fellows with whom I have been fortunate to work"" winner citation

The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) is pleased to announce that the 2009 CAP Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Physics is awarded to Richard Peltier, University of Toronto, for his seminal contributions to understanding the physics of the earth, including glacial isostatic adjustment, mantle convection, fluid dynamics of the atmosphere and oceans, and global climate variability. announcement

Richard Peltier applies the principles of classical continuum mechanics, thermodynamics and radiative transfer to the understanding of planetary evolution. His work has encompassed the internal dynamics of the Earth, its surface atmosphere and oceans and has resulted in important contributions to the behavior of all three media as well as to their collective behavior. Seminal contributions have included a global visco-elastic theory of the self-gravitational interactions that continue to govern the planet’s response to both ancient and modern ice-Earth-ocean interactions in response to changing surface climate conditions. His detailed analyses of the impact of the pressure induced phase transformations that occur within the iron-magnesium out mantle shell of the planet have shed new light upon the convective circulation that drives continental drift and his analyses of the non-linear hydrodynamic wave related processes in the atmosphere and oceans have been instrumental in the illucidation of a wide range of continually recurrent phenomena such as the downslope windstorms that occur in the atmospheric lee of high topography (eg, the Chinook of western Canada), the baroclinically unstable waves of the middle atmosphere that are the cause of synoptic scale weather events, and the intense bursts of turbulence that occur in both the atmosphere and oceans in consequence of the instability of density stratified “parallel flows”. He has also made major contributions to our understanding of the impacts of modern greenhouse gas induced global warming, especially in connection to the phenomenon of global sea level rise that accompanies this process. This work has been widely recognized by the international community. nominator citation

Richard Peltier will receive the 2009 CAP Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Physics 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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