Professor Paul Nolan has been awarded the Rutherford Prize and Medal by the Institute of Physics for his work on the understanding of nuclear structure at high angular momentum and developing new nuclear detectors.
The Prize and Medal is awarded every two years to an outstanding nuclear physicist and Professor Nolan’s work in this area has comprised the development of new position sensitive detectors based on Germanium technology.
These detectors have been used in the AGATA (Advanced GAmma Tracking Array) which will allow unprecedented insights into nuclear structure.
His instrumentation expertise has also found application in the development of the ALPHA detector at CERN, used to study anti-hydrogen.
Professor Nolan’s expertise has also been called upon to develop detector systems for security applications involving scanning cargo containers at sea and airports and to conduct remote imaging of nuclear decommissioning sites.
He is working with a group of academic and researchers in the Department of Physics to develop Compton Cameras which are also used to provide better imaging at a lower dose of radiation than ever before in a healthcare setting.
Professor Nolan, from the University’s Department of Physics, joins a long list of winners who have been awarded the biennial Rutherford Prize since 1939, including Peter Higgs and Niels Bohr.