C12: News

C12: News


Or Hen

“For extending our knowledge and understanding of short range correlations in nuclei, and for the discovery of a remarkable linear relationship between high-momentum correlations and the deviation of the quark momentum in a heavy nucleus.”

Or Hen received a combined B.Sc. degree in physics and computer engineering. He then joined the Nuclear Research Center in the Negev and in parallel started his graduate studies at Tel Aviv University, where he completed his Ph.D. thesis in 2015. That same year he was awarded the IPS Prize for a Graduate Student in Experimental Physics by the Israel Physical Society. In 2015 he also received the  prestigious Pappalardo Fellowship at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, and within one year from his Ph.D. he was offered a tenure-track faculty position at MIT. His results are based on experiments at Jefferson Lab, and already, in this early phase of his carrier, he plays a leadership role in precision electron-scattering experiments. He has made several important research contributions to frontier subjects related to the interface between nuclear and particle physics, and he has shown that the new knowledge gained has important implications on a remarkable array of topics including the quark structure of the proton and neutron, connections between nuclei and ultra-cold atomic systems, neutrino physics, and the kinetic symmetry energy of nuclear matter. In 2018 he received the distinguished Altarelli Award given the implications of his work on nucleon-nucleon correlations.


Chun Shen

“For his groundbreaking contributions to the field of high energy nuclear physics, and in particular his development of a comprehensive code package dynamically simulating all stages of relativistic heavy-ion collisions of importance for the investigation of strongly-coupled quark-gluon plasmas.”

Chun Shen obtained his Ph.D. in Physics from Ohio State University in August 2014. He won the Chinese National Award for Outstanding Ph.D. Students Abroad, and his Ph.D. thesis won the 2016 Dissertation Award in Nuclear Physics of the American Physical Society, as well as an honorable mention in the 2015 RHIC Thesis Award competition. After having completed a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship at McGill University in Montreal he turned down an offer from Los Alamos National Laboratory for an Oppenheimer Fellowship to accept a Goldhaber Distinguished Fellowship at Brookhaven National Laboratory, where he became a member of their Nuclear Theory Group. In 2018 Shen started a new position as Assistant Professor at Wayne State University in Detroit. Shen’s area of expertise is in theoretical relativistic heavy-ion physics, with a specific emphasis on the hydrodynamic evolution of transport properties of quark-gluon plasma and its electromagnetic radiation spectrum. Heavy-ion collisions allow to explore the properties of QCD matter under the most extreme conditions of temperature and energy density with wide-ranging implications. Chun’s research provides an important theoretical support for the relativistic heavy-ion programs at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland and at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory.


Xiaofei Yang

“For her realization of a unique laser spectroscopy technique to be applied at the PF-type radioactive isotope beam facility and for the substantial contribution to the development and operation of the laser spectroscopy devices at ISOLDE which measure the basic properties of exotic atomic nuclei with high resolution and efficiency.”

Xiaofei Yang received her Ph.D. degree in nuclear physics from Peking University, China, in 2014. Her Ph.D. research work was conducted at RIKEN Nishina Center, Japan, and focused on the development of a novel laser spectroscopy technique OROCHI until the completion of the associated first physics experiment. She worked at RIKEN for 3 years as an International Program Association joint student. She then joined the nuclear moment group at IKS, KU Leuven, Belgium, as a postdoctoral researcher. Her work there was mainly devoted to the laser spectroscopy experiments COLLAPS and CRIS to study the structure of exotic isotopes. She had been a local member of CERN-ISOLDE from 2016 till 2017, supported by Junior Mobility Program of KU Leuven and FWO Grant for a Long-Stay in Europe, Belgium. Since October 2017, she is a faculty member at Peking University, China. Her main research interests are the development of high-precision and high sensitivity laser spectroscopy techniques and the associated structure studies of exotic nuclei.



The Commission for Nuclear Physics (C12) received 21 valid nominations for the IUPAP Young Scientist Prize in Nuclear Physics 2016 by the deadline, 1st December 2015. The evaluation was performed by the C12 members and an external referee for each nominee, specialist of the area but without any links to the nominee. After a long and critical evaluation, the C12 members decided to award the prize to Andreas Ekström (Sweden, Chalmers University), Kara Marie Lynch (UK, CERN-Isolde)  and Haozhao Liang (China, Riken).

As usual, the award ceremony was held as a special session of the main conference of the field, the International Nuclear Physics Conference (INPC 2016), held in Adelaide, Australia, on 14 September 2016. As part of the award ceremony, the winners presented an invited talk on their work to the very large audience.

From Left: Anthony Thomas (chair of INPC2016), Alinka Lépine-Szily (chair C12), Bruce McKellar (president IUPAP), Haozhao Liang, Kara M. Lynch, Andres Ekström, Hideyuki Sakai (past chair C12)

From Left: Anthony Thomas (chair of INPC2016), Alinka Lépine-Szily (chair C12), Bruce McKellar (president IUPAP), Haozhao Liang, Kara M. Lynch, Andreas Ekström, Hideyuki Sakai (past chair C12)

The winners:

Andreas Ekström

“For his groundbreaking contributions in the optimization of nuclear interactions from chiral effective field theory using advanced physical and mathematical tools in quantifying the theoretical uncertainties. This has allowed accurate ab initio many-body calculations in the areas of nuclear structure and reactions, reproducing for the first time both nuclear binding energies and radii in higher precision and giving realistic saturation properties of nuclear matter.”

Andreas Ekström received his PhD in physics from Lund University, Sweden, in 2010. For his thesis work he studied exotic isotopes  using the ISOLDE radioactive ion beam facility at CERN in Geneva.  Since then he has shifted his research to theoretical nuclear physics,  and has primarily been working on computational methods for describing the low-energy properties of the atomic nucleus starting from a theory for the strong interaction between the nucleons. In particular, he has made groundbreaking contributions in the optimisation of nuclear interactions from chiral effective field theory using advanced physical and mathematical tools in quantifying the theoretical uncertainties.

Between 2010 and 2016 he was a post-doc at Oslo University, Michigan State University, and the University of Tennessee. Since 2016 he is an assistant professor at Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Haozhao Liang

h-liang_photo“For his development of a fully self-consistent random phase approximation (RPA) based on the density-dependent relativistic Hartree-Fock (RHF) theory and for establishing a fully self-consistent charge-exchange quasiparticle RPA with both isovector (T=1) and isoscalar (T=0) proton-neutron pairing, based on the RHF-Bogoliubov framework. This result allows the systematic investigation of β-decay half-lives of neutron-rich nuclei and the β+ decays and electron captures of proton-rich nuclei with potential implications towards the remarkable speeding up of the astrophysical r-process flow.”

After his Bachelor in 2005, Dr. Haozhao Liang continued his study in Peking University (PKU), China, by entering a 5-year Ph.D. program in theoretical nuclear physics. From 2006 to 2007, Haozhao visited Institut de Physique Nucléaire Orsay in France several times with the scholarship from the Asia-Europe Link Program. These visits were followed by his successful application in the co-supervision Ph.D. program funded by the French Embassy in China. In 2010, Haozhao obtained his Ph.D. degrees from both PKU and Université Paris-Sud under the co-supervision agreement, and he continued his work in PKU as postdoctoral fellow until 2012. Haozhao then joined in RIKEN Nishina Center as Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) postdoctoral fellow, and then Foreign Postdoctoral Researcher of RIKEN. Haozhao was promoted as tenured Research Scientist in RIKEN in April 2015, and he was invited as guest Associate Professor in Graduate School of Science, the University of Tokyo from April 2016.

Dr. Haozhao Liang’s research interests are mainly focusing on nuclear density functional theory (DFT), and the relevant interdisciplinary applications in nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and particle physics. This IUPAP Young Scientist Prize was award for his development of fully self-consistent theories within the relativistic DFT framework. This result allows the systematic investigation of β-decay half-lives of neutron-rich nuclei and the β+ decays and electron captures of proton-rich nuclei with potential implications towards the remarkable speeding up of the astrophysical r-process flow.

Kara Marie Lynch


“For the development and realization of the collinear resonance ionization (CRIS) method for sensitive laser spectroscopy measurements of exotic atomic nuclei and its possible use to separate short lived isomeric states. This method combines the high resolution of the laser spectroscopy with the high efficiency and selectivity of resonant ionization improving the sensitivity by orders of magnitude. Very pure isomeric beams could be produced by this method allowing the study of their decay properties.”

Kara Marie Lynch graduated from the University of York, UK, in 2010. She obtained her Ph.D. in 2013 from the University of Manchester, UK, on the topic of laser-assisted nuclear decay spectroscopy of neutron-deficient francium isotopes. Following her Ph.D., she was a FWO Marie Curie Pegasus Research Fellow with KU Leuven, Belgium, and is currently a CERN Research Fellow. In 2013, she was awarded the UK’s Institute of Physics Nuclear Physics Group Early Career award. Since 2010, she has been based at the ISOLDE facility, CERN, working on the Collinear Resonance Ionization Spectroscopy (CRIS) experiment, and developing the technique of laser-assisted nuclear decay spectroscopy. This novel setup combines high-resolution laser spectroscopy and nuclear-decay spectroscopy to provide nuclear-structure measurements of short-lived exotic isotopes.


This prize was established by IUPAP in 2005 at the time of the General Assembly in Capetown, South Africa.

The purpose of this prize, which consists of 1,000 €, a medal, and a certificate citing the recipient’s contributions, is:

To recognize and encourage very promising experimental or theoretical research in nuclear physics, including the advancement of a method, a procedure, a technique, or a device that contributes in a significant way to nuclear physics research. Candidates for the prize must have a maximum of eight years of research experience (excluding career interruptions) following the Ph.D. (or equivalent) degree.

Nominations by one or two nominators (and distinct from the nominee) are open to all experimental and theoretical nuclear physicists. The nomination package should contain, other than the nomination letter, at least two additional letters of support, the curriculum vitae of the nominee containing also the list of publications. Three prizes will ordinarily be awarded at the time of the tri-annual International Nuclear Physics Conference.

Nominations are due  December 1 of the year preceding the International Nuclear Physics Conference and are valid only until then. It will be extremely helpful to the selection committee to receive at least two additional letters supporting the nomination that detail the expected significance of the contributions of the nominee to nuclear physics. It is also appropriate to submit additional materials such as published articles that underline the expected significance of the nominee’s contribution to nuclear physics. It is important that the selection committee has the specific information that allows it to determine what the nominee has contributed and how this contribution is expected to impact the field.

Nominations for prizes to be awarded at the next International Nuclear Physics Conference, September 11-16, 2016, in Adelaide, Australia, are to be sent by email by December 1, 2015 to the Chair of the IUPAP Commission of Nuclear Physics (C12):  Prof. Alinka Lépine-Szily, Institut of Physics, University of São Paulo, email subject “IUPAP prize nomination”.


The Young Scientist Prize in Nuclear Physics 2013 was awarded to Rabia Burcu Cakirli, Stefano Gandolfi and Bjorn Peter Schenke.

Bjorn Peter Schenke

Bjorn Peter Schenke

Rabia Burcu Cakirli

Rabia Burcu Cakirli

Stefano Gandolfi

Stefano Gandolfi

YSP 2013

Presentation of the IUPAP YSP 2013 for the Commission on Nuclear Physics (C12)