Professor Themis Bowcock from the University’s Department of Physics has been awarded the 2023 James Chadwick Medal and Prize, an award granted by the Institute of Physics (IoP) in recognition of distinguished contributions in particle physics.
Professor Bowcock receives the award for his outstanding contribution to the design, construction and operation of major detector and computing systems that have underpinned quark and lepton-flavour measurements worldwide.
Professor Bowcock said: “I am absolutely delighted as this is really a recognition of all our staff in Particle Physics. As you know, we always work as a collaboration. So, in my view, this is for our support staff, the world class researchers, our electrical and mechanical engineers, the Semiconductor Detector Centre and, of course, our superb particle physics detector facility. It has been a lifetime’s privilege to work with this team and, I should add, our great collaborators both in the UK and internationally. I’d love to have a chance to do this all over again!”
An experimental particle physicist who led the University’s Particle Physics group from 2011-2019, Professor Bowcock has been at the forefront of particle physics research for several decades.
He led the design and construction of key detector systems that underwrite and enable our understanding of quark decays at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, as well as facilitating the discovery of new forms of matter (tetraquark and pentaquark bound states). He has led the design, construction and commissioning of three generations of the LHCb VELO detector that underpins all LHCb measurements, but particularly those searching for evidence of physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics.
His work on detector developments were crucial in the recent world’s best measurement of the anomalous magnetic moment of the muon (g-2) at Fermilab. In addition, Professor Bowock is one of the leading advocates in developing new quantum technologies.
The Institute of Physics (IOP) is the professional body and learned society for physics, and the leading body for practising physicists, in the UK and Ireland. Its annual awards proudly reflect the wide variety of people, places, organisations and achievements that make physics such an exciting discipline.
Congratulating this year’s Award winners, Institute of Physics President, Professor Sir Keith Burnett, said: “On behalf of the Institute of Physics, I want to congratulate all of this year’s award winners. Each one has made a significant and positive impact in their profession, whether as a researcher, teacher, industrialist, technician or apprentice and I hope they are incredibly proud of their achievements.
“There is so much focus today on the opportunities generated by a career in physics and the potential our science has to transform our society and economy and I hope the stories of our winners will help to inspire future generations of scientists. “