Brandon University Alumnus Helps Isolate Anti-matter at CERN

November 18, 2010

BRANDON, MB – Brandon University alumnus, Tim Friesen has been conducting research at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) while working toward his PhD. He was a member of the international team that was able to trap antimatter atoms.

In the timeframe during which those atoms were captured, the scientists involved were able “to study their properties and see if they were very different than matter,” shared Makoto Fujiwara, the leader of the Canadian scientists, with cbc.ca.

This news was brought to the attention Dr. Austin Gulliver, the Brandon University Dean of Science, by Tim Friesen’s father, Al Friesen, another BU alumnus.

“Tim’s accomplishments in this field are due in no small part to his experiences in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at Brandon University and the mentoring and support he received from you and your colleagues,” Al Friesen wrote to Dr. Gulliver.

“I have told Professor Emeritus John Rice before that he played a key role in Tim acquiring NSERC funding, which set Tim up for all the rest, when he sat up with Tim all night one weekend some years ago completing the application forms only hours before the deadline,” continued Al Friesen. “It is this kind of dedication by members of your department that makes a real difference in the life of a student — as it did for Tim. Tim’s mother Linda and I are proud of his accomplishment, but want to acknowledge the important role played by your department in his success.”

One of the world’s largest research centres, CERN is located on the border between France and Switzerland, and since its inception in 1954, its primary focus is fundamental physics. There, scientists use particle accelerators and detectors to do their research. Several of the scientists who have worked at CERN have won accolades and awards, include the Nobel Prize. Some practical applications of this type of research has been used in medicine, including in PET (positron emission tomography) and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans.

“The isolation of anti-matter at CERN by an international consortium of scientists including our own graduate, Tim Friesen, is extremely exciting. We are very proud of the role that Tim is playing in this ongoing fundamental research as he works toward his PhD in Physics at the University of Calgary,” said Dr. Gulliver. “To have one of our former students in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at Brandon University participating in this first ever achievement is spectacular.”

To read more about this, visit:
http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2010/11/17/antimatter-antihydrogen-atoms-trap.html#socialcomments
-30-

For more information, please contact:

Joanne F. Villeneuve
Communication Officer
Brandon University
P: (204) 727-9762
communications@brandonu.ca