2023 Medal Winners | francais

The 2023 CAP Herzberg Medal

is awarded to

Joseph Maciejko

"I am deeply honoured to receive the 2023 CAP Herzberg Medal. Topological and other exotic quantum materials are a striking example of how the physical world unexpectedly conceals beautiful mathematics. I feel privileged to contribute to this exciting field. I sincerely thank my nominators, my colleagues at Alberta, and my family for their support." winner citation

The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) is pleased to announce that the 2023 CAP Herzberg Medal is awarded to Joseph Maciejko, University of Alberta, in recognition of his leadership role and ground-breaking research on topological phases of matter. announcement

New theoretical developments by Prof. Maciejko and collaborators are profoundly extending our understanding of the quantum-mechanical behaviour of solids and liquids. His research deepens our understanding of these condensed matter systems by taking into account the quantum entanglements among the (very large numbers of) particles. For example, some classes of topological materials can act as insulators on the inside, but as conductors on the surface, changing our perception of the canonical divisions between metals and insulators. His strategy for obtaining new insight into the behaviour of quantum materials often involves the application of theoretical tools originally developed in high-energy physics and in mathematics (topology, geometry). This approach simultaneously exposes unforeseen depths of connection with other branches of physics.

Glimpses of a topological future first emerged in the 1970s (Kosterlitz-Thouless transition, recognized by the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics) and 1980s (quantum Hall effects, with several Nobels already), but it is the 21st-century work of leading practitioners such as Prof. Maciejko that has transformed topological physics into one of the most dynamic topics of the entire discipline. In what is beginning to appear like a parallel development, Prof. Maciejko and collaborators have developed “hyperbolic band theory” to describe the quantum behaviour of matter in novel arrangements analogous to the patterns in M.C. Escher’s “Circle Limit” woodcuts. Electrical circuit models of this synthetic quantum matter are now being studied in numerous laboratories. nominator citation

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