U of G Becomes Full TRIUMF Member

June 30, 2009 - News Release

It's a TRIUMF for the University of Guelph. On Canada Day, U of G will become a full member of the cross-country university group that runs the TRIUMF national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics in Vancouver.

Operating the world's largest cyclotron, TRIUMF allows scientists to study everything from health and medicine to materials and fuels to the origins of the universe.

Guelph will become one of eight full members in the TRIUMF collaboration. Since 2003, it has been one of six associate members.

Within TRIUMF, U of G physics professor Carl Svensson leads an international group that has designed and built a detector called TIGRESS. The device — funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council — acts as a giant microscope that allows scientists to peer into atomic nuclei for clues to how stars form the chemical elements and how nuclear forces hold the atomic nucleus together.

Svensson has gained international renown for his work in subatomic physics and for his leadership in designing and building tools needed to probe the inner workings of atoms. In June, he and Guelph physicist Paul Garrett received more than $4.2 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation to build a new detector at the national lab called GRIFFIN (Gamma-Ray Infrastructure for Fundamental Investigations of Nuclei).

"This is a tremendously exciting development for the University of Guelph,” Svensson said. “Together with our scientific operation of the TIGRESS facility and the recent Canada Foundation for Innovation funding announcement for GRIFFIN, it could not have come at a better time.”

Kevin Hall, U of G’s vice-president (research) said the move to full membership “establishes the fact that the University of Guelph has excellent credentials in subatomic physics. It also allows us to pursue bigger opportunities for our physicists and opens up a number of doors for funding for collaborations and facilities to strengthen what's already a strong group of subatomic physicists."

More than 350 scientists, engineers and staff work at the TRIUMF site. The lab attracts about 500 researchers each year from Canada and worldwide, and provides research facilities and opportunities to 150 students and post-doctoral researchers.

Those researchers study nuclear and particle physics, molecular and materials science, and nuclear medicine. Opened in 1969, the laboratory also promotes the advancement of particle accelerators and detection technologies, trains researchers and commercializes research.

"We see TRIUMF as a bridge between universities and industry, particularly in areas such as nuclear medicine and accelerator applications," said Nigel S. Lockyer, TRIUMF director.

"With Guelph as part of the leadership team, we can expect to be more skilled and more effective at steering basic research to have great impact for Canada.”

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, Ext. 53338 or lhunt@uoguelph.ca, or Barry Gunn, Ext. 56982 or bagunn@uoguelph.ca.

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