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Nobel laureate to deliver Priestman Lecture at UNB

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Oct 2, 2019

Category: myUNB , UNB Fredericton

The University of New Brunswick in Fredericton will host Canadian Nobel laureate Dr. Arthur McDonald on Friday, Oct. 4, for the annual Priestman Lecture Series.

In a lecture is entitled “From the Tiniest Particles to the Farthest Reaches of the Universe,” Dr. McDonald will discuss how the study of particle physics has enabled scientists to further understanding of the universe from the smallest to the largest scales.

“Dr. McDonald is one of Canada’s few Nobel laureates. His contributions have had a profound impact on our understanding of the elementary particles that make up the cosmos – and us,” says Dr. Viqar Husain, a professor in the UNB Fredericton department of math and statistics and the event organizer. “It is very important to share these major scientific breakthroughs with the general public in an accessible way, which is what the Priestman Lecture Series does.”

Dr. McDonald, who is originally from Sydney, N.S., received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2015 jointly with Takaaki Kajita for the discovery of neutrino oscillations, which shows that neutrinos have mass. Neutrinos are subatomic particles that originate deep inside the sun’s core. They are the remnants of the nuclear reaction that makes the sun shine.

The Priestman Lecture Series was established in 1951 in memory of Bryan Priestman, once the one-man physics department at UNB Fredericton. Priestman died in 1945 while attempting to save a boy from drowning in the St. John River. Priestman Street in Fredericton was named in his honour and he is the subject of an elegy by F.R. Scott, with whom Priestman was friends during their time at McGill University.

The series is a way for researchers to share important scientific discoveries with the public and there have been nearly 40 installments. Previous topics include the evolution of the moon, DNA sequencing, the demands of democracy, tumor viruses and architecture in nanospace. Several past speakers have been Nobel laureates.

The Priestman Lecture Series will host Dr. McDonald on Friday, Oct. 4, at 7 p.m. in MacLaggan Hall Room 105, UNB Fredericton. All are welcome to attend.

Media contact: Kelsey Pye