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Herzberg Gold Medal won by National Research Council, University of Ottawa scientist


Ottawa, ON – Dr Paul Corkum, an attosecond science researcher at the National Research Council Canada (NRC) and professor in the department of physics at the University of Ottawa, 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 second NRC researcher and third University of Ottawa professor to receive the honour since its inception in 1991.

“NRC is incredibly proud of Dr Corkum’s accomplishments in the field of attosecond science,” said Dr Pierre Coulombe, NRC president. “The collaborative relationship between NRC and the University of Ottawa provides a shining example of a partnership that leverages Canada’s public research base to inspire Canadian researchers to perform at world-class levels of excellence and maximize our competitive advantage.”

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, a Killam Prize and an NSERC Polanyi Award for outstanding achievement in the field of natural sciences.