Bertram Brockhouse

Bertram Neville Brockhouse, CC FRSC FRS (July 15, 1918 – October 13, 2003)[1] was a Canadian physicist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics (1994, shared with Clifford Shull) "for pioneering contributions to the development of neutron scattering techniques for studies of condensed matter", in particular "for the development of neutron spectroscopy".[2][3][4]

Bertram Brockhouse
Bertram Brockhouse
Bertram Neville Brockhouse

July 15, 1918
DiedOctober 13, 2003 (aged 85)
Alma mater
Scientific career
InstitutionsMcMaster University
ThesisThe effect of stress and temperature upon the magnetic properties of ferromagnetic materials (1950)

Education and early life

Brockhouse was born in Lethbridge, Alberta, and was a graduate of the University of British Columbia (BA, 1947) and the University of Toronto (MA, 1948; Ph.D, 1950).[5][6]

Career and research

From 1950 to 1962, Brockhouse carried out research at Atomic Energy of Canada's Chalk River Nuclear Laboratory. Here he was joined by P. K. Iyengar, who is treated as the father of India's nuclear program.

In 1962, he became professor at McMaster University in Canada, where he remained until his retirement in 1984.

Awards and honours

Brockhouse was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1965.[1] In 1982, Brockhouse was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and was promoted to Companion in 1995.

Brockhouse shared the 1994 Nobel Prize in Physics with American Clifford Shull of MIT[7] for developing neutron scattering techniques for studying condensed matter.

In October 2005, as part of the 75th anniversary of McMaster University's establishment in Hamilton, Ontario, a street on the University campus (University Avenue) was renamed to Brockhouse Way in honour of Brockhouse. The town of Deep River, Ontario has also named a street in his honour.

The Nobel Prize that Bertram Brockhouse won (shared with Clifford Shull) in 1994 was awarded after the longest ever waiting time (counting from the time when the award-winning research had been carried out).

In 1999 the Division of Condensed Matter and Materials Physics (DCMMP) and the Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) created a medal in honour of Brockhouse. The medal is called the Brockhouse Medal and is awarded to recognize and encourage outstanding experimental or theoretical contributions to condensed matter and materials physics. This medal is awarded annually on the basis of outstanding experimental or theoretical contributions to condensed matter physics. An eligible candidate must have performed their research primarily with a Canadian Institution.


  1. ^ a b c Cowley, R. (2005). "Bertram Neville Brockhouse. 15 July 1918 - 13 October 2003: Elected F.R.S. 1965". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 51: 51–65. doi:10.1098/rsbm.2005.0004.
  2. ^ profile of Bertram Brockhouse
  3. ^ Brockhouse biographical details from
  4. ^ Office of the Governor General of Canada. Order of Canada citation. Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved 24 May 2010
  5. ^ Brockhouse, Bertram Neville (1950). The effect of stress and temperature upon the magnetic properties of ferromagnetic materials (PhD thesis). University of Toronto. OCLC 222041304.
  6. ^ "Brockhouse and the Nobel Prize - Canadian Neutron Beam Centre". Archived from the original on 2009-02-17. Retrieved 2008-06-02.
  7. ^ "Clifford G. Shull, co-winner of 1994 Nobel Prize in physics, is dead at 85". MIT-News. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 2001-04-02. Archived from the original on 2010-12-27. Retrieved 2010-12-27. Professor Shull shared the 1994 Nobel Prize with Professor Bertram S. Brockhouse of McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

External links

1918 in Canada

Events from the year 1918 in Canada.

1918 in science

The year 1918 in science and technology involved some significant events, listed below.

1994 in Canada

Events from the year 1994 in Canada.


Brockhouse may refer to:

Bertram Brockhouse, a Canadian physicist

Brockhouse, a fictional family in J. R. R. Tolkien's books, see list of hobbit families

Brøckhouse Brewery, Denmark

Brockhouse Corgi, see Corgi Motorcycle Co Ltd.

Chalk River Laboratories

Chalk River Laboratories (French: Laboratoires de Chalk River; also known as CRL, Chalk River Labs and formerly Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories) is a Canadian nuclear research facility near Chalk River, about 180 km (110 mi) north-west of Ottawa.

CRL is a site of major research and development to support and advance nuclear technology, in particular CANDU reactor technology. CRL has expertise in physics, metallurgy, chemistry, biology, and engineering, and hosts unique research facilities. For example, Bertram Brockhouse, a professor at McMaster University, received the 1994 Nobel Prize in Physics for his pioneering work in neutron spectroscopy while at CRL from 1950 to 1962. Sir John Cockcroft was an early director of CRL and also a Nobel laureate. CRL produces a large share of the world's supply of medical radioisotopes. It is owned by the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories subsidiary of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited and operated under contract by the Canadian National Energy Alliance, a private-sector consortium led by SNC-Lavalin.

Clifford Shull

Clifford Glenwood Shull (September 23, 1915 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – March 31, 2001) was a Nobel Prize-winning American physicist.

Deaths in October 2003

The following is a list of notable deaths in October 2003.

Entries for each day are listed alphabetically by surname. A typical entry lists information in the following sequence:

Name, age, country of citizenship at birth, subsequent country of citizenship (if applicable), reason for notability, cause of death (if known), and reference.

Index of physics articles (B)

The index of physics articles is split into multiple pages due to its size.

To navigate by individual letter use the table of contents below.

List of University of British Columbia people

This is a list of alumni and faculty from the University of British Columbia.

List of people from Lethbridge

This is a list of notable people who are from Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada or have spent a large part or formative part of their career in that city. They are colloquially known as Lethbridgians.

Ernie Afaganis, CBC sports broadcaster

Richard Joseph Audet, flying ace during World War II

Conrad Bain, actor

Bob Bainborough, actor

Doug Barkley, hockey player

Roloff Beny, photographer

Rosella Bjornson, first female pilot for a commercial airline in North America

Marla Boehr, model

Bertram Brockhouse, Nobel Prize winner

Ronnie Burkett, puppeteer

Janet Cardiff, artist

Gavin Crawford, actor

Jason Day, mixed martial artist

Jack de Heer, hockey player

Kent Derricott, actor

Brad Erdos, gridiron football player

Joyce Fairbairn, Canadian senator

William Fruet, film and television writer and director

Dar Heatherington, politician

David Hoffos, contemporary artist

Earl Ingarfield, Sr., hockey player

Athena Karkanis, actor

John Krizanc, playwright

Ernest George Mardon, educator and author

Kari Matchett, actor

Bill Matheson, meteorologist

Anne-Marie Mediwake, broadcaster

Jordan Mein, mixed martial artist

Joseph Meli, four-time Canadian Olympian (Judo)

Tara-Jean Popowich, winner of So You Think You Can Dance Canada (Season 2)

Chris Pearson, first Premier of Yukon

Jamie Pushor, hockey player

Jon Redfern, novelist

Duncan Regehr, actor

Stacy Roest, hockey player

Chava Rosenfarb, author and Holocaust survivor

John Andrew Roth (born 1942), CEO of Nortel

Linda Smith, novelist

Vic Stasiuk, hockey player

Richard Stevenson, poet

John Smith Stewart, soldier and politician

Theo Tams, winner of Canadian Idol Season 6 (2008)

Kris Versteeg, hockey player

Doug Vogt, photojournalist

Michael Wex, novelist and playwright

List of spectroscopists

Articles about notable spectroscopists.


A magnon is a quasiparticle, a collective excitation of the electrons' spin structure in a crystal lattice. In the equivalent wave picture of quantum mechanics, a magnon can be viewed as a quantized spin wave. Magnons carry a fixed amount of energy and lattice momentum, and are spin-1, indicating they obey boson behavior.

McMaster Faculty of Science

The Faculty of Science is the largest of six faculties at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

McMaster University

McMaster University (commonly referred to as McMaster or Mac) is a public research university in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The main McMaster campus is on 121 hectares (300 acres) of land near the residential neighbourhoods of Ainslie Wood and Westdale, adjacent to the Royal Botanical Gardens. It operates six academic faculties: the DeGroote School of Business, Engineering, Health Sciences, Humanities, Social Science, and Science. It is a member of the U15, a group of research-intensive universities in Canada.The university bears the name of William McMaster, a prominent Canadian senator and banker who bequeathed C$900,000 to its founding. It was incorporated under the terms of an act of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in 1887, merging the Toronto Baptist College with Woodstock College. It opened in Toronto in 1890. Inadequate facilities and the gift of land in Hamilton prompted its relocation in 1930. The Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec controlled the university until it became a privately chartered, publicly funded non-denominational institution in 1957.

The university has been recognized by a number of publications that rank university performance, including the Academic Ranking of World Universities, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, QS World University Rankings, and the U.S. News & World Report Best Global University Ranking. In 2016, it was ranked the most research intensive university in Canada by Research Infosource, with the university receiving an average research income of $405,300 per faculty member, the highest in Canada.McMaster University is co-educational, and has over 25,000 undergraduate and over 4,000 post-graduate students. Alumni and former students reside across Canada and in 139 countries. Its athletic teams are known as the Marauders, and are members of U Sports. Notable alumni include government officials, academics, business leaders, Rhodes Scholars, Gates Cambridge Scholars, and three Nobel laureates.


NRX (National Research Experimental) was a heavy-water-moderated, light-water-cooled, nuclear research reactor at the Canadian Chalk River Laboratories, which came into operation in 1947 at a design power rating of 10 MW (thermal), increasing to 42 MW by 1954. At the time of its construction it was Canada's most expensive science facility and the world's most powerful nuclear research reactor.

NRX was remarkable both in terms of its heat output and the number of free neutrons it generated. When a nuclear reactor is operating its nuclear chain reaction generates many free neutrons, and in the late 1940s NRX was the most intense neutron source in the world.

NRX experienced one of the world's first major reactor accidents on 12 December 1952. The reactor began operation on 22 July 1947 under the National Research Council of Canada, and was taken over by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) shortly before the 1952 accident. The accident was cleaned up and the reactor restarted within two years. NRX operated for 45 years, being shut down permanently on 30 March 1993. It is currently undergoing decommissioning at the Chalk River Laboratories site.

NRX was the successor to Canada's first reactor, ZEEP. Because the operating life of a research reactor was not expected to be very long, in 1948 planning started for construction of a successor facility, the National Research Universal reactor, which went critical in 1957.

National Research Universal reactor

The National Research Universal (NRU) reactor was a 135 MW nuclear research reactor built in the Chalk River Laboratories, Ontario, one of Canada’s national science facilities. It was a multipurpose science facility that served three main roles. It generated isotopes used to treat or diagnose over 20 million people in 80 countries every year (and, to a lesser extent, other isotopes used for non-medical purposes). It was the neutron source for the NRC Canadian Neutron Beam Centre: a materials research centre that grew from the Nobel Prize-winning work of Bertram Brockhouse. It was the test bed for Atomic Energy of Canada Limited to develop fuels and materials for the CANDU reactor. At the time of its retirement on March 31, 2018, it was the world's oldest operating nuclear reactor.

Neutron triple-axis spectrometry

Triple-axis spectrometry (TAS, T also resolved as "three", S also resolved as "spectroscopy") is a technique used in inelastic neutron scattering. The instrument is referred to as triple-axis spectrometer (also called TAS). It allows measurement of the scattering function at any point in energy and momentum space physically accessible by the spectrometer.

October 13

October 13 is the 286th day of the year (287th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 79 days remaining until the end of the year.

William Cochran (physicist)

William (Bill) Cochran (30 July 1922 – 28 August 2003) was a prominent Scottish physicist.

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