2011 Medal Winners | francais

The 2011 CAP-TRIUMF Vogt Medal for Contributions to Subatomic Physics

is awarded to

David Sinclair

"I am extremely honoured to be selected to receive this award. Canada has such a strong program in sub-atomic physics encompassing the whole spectrum of nuclear physics, particle physics at the energy frontier, fundamental symmetries, nuclear astrophysics and more recently astro-particle physics, because there are so many very accomplished scientists working in this field. To be selected from this field for the inaugural medal is a very special honour for me. I am particularly pleased that the medal bears Erich Vogt’s name. When I was a graduate student, Erich had already established a reputation as an outstanding scientist and scholar. His leadership has been so important to creating the rich program that we are so proud of today." winner citation

The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) and TRIUMF are pleased to announce that the 2011 CAP-TRIUMF Vogt Medal for Contributions to Subatomic Physics is awarded to David Sinclair, Carleton University and TRIUMF, in recognition of for his exceptional vision and contributions to the study of neutrino physics in the pioneering SNO experiment, and for exemplary leadership in establishing the SNOLab facility. announcement

David Sinclair is one of Canada’s most eminent scientists in the field of experimental subatomic physics. Dr. Sinclair has dedicated much of his research career to solving the "solar neutrino problem", an apparent deficit in the flux from the sun of difficult to detect neutrinos that are an essential end product of the fusion reactions in the sun’s core. To this end, Dr. Sinclair was one of the founders of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, the experiment that solved this puzzle. The resolution of this puzzle resulted in a significant revision of our understanding of the elementary particles and has opened new areas of research in particle physics. The journal Science cited the SNO results as one of the top 10 breakthroughs in all of science in the years 2001 and 2002. Dr. Sinclair has been one of the leaders of SNO and it is for his seminal contributions to the design, construction, and operation of SNO that David is awarded the CAP-TRIUMF Vogt Medal. Besides being involved in the design of SNO, Dr. Sinclair developed new techniques to reduce the naturally occurring trace radioactive contaminants in the heavy and light water to the unprecedented level of one part in 1015. Dr. Sinclair contributed to many other aspects of the experiment, in one instance solving what was believed to be a "show stopping" problem with high voltage connections to phototubes. Dr. Sinclair has continued his leadership in subatomic physics as the PI and Director of SNOLab during the development phase and is currently its Director of Facility Development. SNOLab can house extremely sensitive experiments that require low levels of background radiation. International efforts are committing or considering relocating to this unique facility. SNOLab will position Canada at the leading edge of subatomic physics research for years to come. He is currently developing a detector, EXO, to search for neutrino-less double beta decay which, if successful, would fundamentally advance our understanding of elementary particles and their interactions. nominator citation

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