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Posted: March 17, 2009
Attosecond science researcher wins Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal
(Nanowerk News) Dr. Paul Corkum, a professor in the
Department of Physics at the University of Ottawa and attosecond science
researcher at the National Research Council Canada (NRC), is this year's
winner of Canada's most prestigious science prize.
The Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering is the
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada's (NSERC) highest
honour and includes $1 million in research funding.
Dr. Corkum is the third University of Ottawa professor and second NRC
researcher to receive the honour since its inception in 1991.
"As one of Canada's top research-intensive universities, we are extremely
pleased to celebrate the outstanding achievements of Dr. Paul Corkum today,"
said Allan Rock, President of the University of Ottawa. "It is an honour to
have him as part of our leading research and academic team."
Dr. Corkum's selection as gold medalist stems from his innovative
research in the cutting-edge field of attosecond science.
The ultimate goal of his work is to control the movement of electrons as
they speed along inside molecules, which promises breakthrough applications in
fields ranging from quantum computing to diagnostic medicine.
Dr. Corkum's work as an experimental physicist has already garnered
several honours and prizes, including the Order of Canada, and a Killam Prize
and Polanyi Award for outstanding achievement in the field of natural
The NSERC Herzberg Medal is awarded annually to an individual who has
demonstrated sustained excellence and influence in research, for a body of
work conducted in Canada, having led to significant advances in the natural
sciences or engineering.
Dr. Paul Corkum and his team at NRC used the world's fastest laser light
pulses to capture the first image of an electron, one of the smallest bits of
matter in the universe. This manipulation of electrons could lead to
breakthroughs in fields as diverse as computing, engineering and medicine. Our
commitment to research excellence and our interdisciplinary approach to
knowledge creation attract the best academic talent from across Canada and
around the world.