Swansea Physicists past and present honoured

Two Heads of Department of Physics, past and present, Professors Mike Charlton and Graham Shore, have both been made Inaugural Fellows of the Learned Society of Wales

The Learned Society, formed in 2010, has high ambitions. Amongst its objectives is to promote the academic excellence and achievements of Wales, and it aims to establish itself both as a recognised representative of the world of Welsh learning internationally and as a source of authoritative, scholarly and critical comment and advice on policy issues affecting Wales.  Swansea Emeritus Professor of Physics, David Olive CBE, FRS was one of the Society's Founding Fellows.

Graham Shore, the Head of the Physics Department, is also the Head of the Theoretical Physics Group at Swansea. Graham held several prestigious appointments at Harvard and Cornell, as well as spending five years as a Research Fellow and Associate at The European Organisation for Nuclear Research, CERN, and a Visiting Professor position at the University of Geneva, before joining Swansea in 1992. He has made fundamental contributions to research in quantum field theory in curved spacetime and many aspects of particle physics, especially dynamical symmetry breaking, supersymmetry and anomalies in quantum chromodynamics.

Mike Charlton heads up the Atomic, Molecular and Laser Group at Swansea Physics Department, researching into positron and positronium physics, and antihydrogen, and was Head of Department until 2007.  Late last year saw a major breakthrough in his work on antimatter by successfully achieving the trapping and holding of atoms of antihydrogen, a feat which had not previously been possible. Studying its properties should help understand why almost everything in the known Universe consists of matter, rather than antimatter, and what the implications are in terms of the fundamental way the University functions.

Cern visit group photo  

A recent visit to CERN:  Back : Mike Charlton; left to right: Lyn Evans, Graham Shore and Niels Madsen; Front: Tim Hollowood

Also elected Learned Society of Wales Fellows this year, was another previous Head of Department, Professor Ian Halliday CBE, and a Swansea Physics graduate, Professor Lyn Evans CBE, FRS. Lyn is probably one of our best known alumni and, until very recently, was the Project Director of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Ian, formerly the Chief Executive of the Particle Physics & Astronomy Research Council and President of the European Space Foundation, was instrumental in setting up SUPA, the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance. Both Ian and Lyn have been made Honorary Fellows by Swansea University.

More information on the Learned Society of Wales can be found at: http://learnedsocietywales.ac.uk/