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.
“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.
“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.
“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”.
IUPAP YOUNG SCIENTIST PRIZE IN NUCLEAR PHYSICS 2013
The Young Scientist Prize in Nuclear Physics 2013 was awarded to Rabia Burcu Cakirli, Stefano Gandolfi and Bjorn Peter Schenke.