Waterloo physicist honoured for early-career achievement

Friday, April 22, 2016

A professor at the University of Waterloo is the recipient of a 2016 Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) Herzberg Medal for his outstanding early-career achievements in condensed matter physics.

Roger Melko
Professor Roger Melko, from the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Waterloo, is a leader in the field of quantum many-body physics. His large-scale computer simulations have significantly contributed to our understanding of strongly interacting condensed-matter systems. Melko is Canada Research Chair in Computational Quantum Many-Body Physics, an affiliate member of the Institute for Quantum Computing at Waterloo, and an associate faculty member at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.

“Roger Melko’s work demonstrates the transformative research taking place in the Faculty of Science at Waterloo. The ripple effects of these breakthroughs make the impact more powerful and long-lasting,” said Bob Lemieux, dean of the Faculty of Science at Waterloo. “He’s extremely deserving of this national recognition.”

He is best known for his 2010 work using quantum Monte Carlo simulations to evaluate entropic measures of entanglement in condensed matter. Entanglement is a special connection between pairs or groups of quantum systems. Melko’s new approach to studying quantum entanglement has facilitated collaborations among a variety of fields in quantum physics.

"It's exciting to see entanglement and other ideas from quantum information being adopted by condensed matter and materials physics,” said Melko. “The potential of this new multi-disciplinary field is exciting, and I expect to see many new developments and breakthroughs in the near future as a result.”

Melko will receive his medal in Ottawa on June 16 from Professor Arthur B. McDonald, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics 2015. He is the second physicist from Waterloo’s Faculty of Science to win this prestigious award. Professor Michel Gingras received it in 2001 for his theoretical work on the role of random disorder in condensed matter physics.

About the University of Waterloo

University of Waterloo is Canada’s top innovation university. With more than 36,000 students we are home to the world's largest co-operative education system of its kind. Our unmatched entrepreneurial culture, combined with an intensive focus on research, powers one of the top innovation hubs in the world. Find out more at uwaterloo.ca.


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Pamela Smyth
University of Waterloo

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