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Professor Peter Kalmus becomes an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Physics

Emeritus Professor of Physics at Queen Mary, University of London, Peter I P Kalmus OBE, has been made an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Physics.

30 June 2010


An eminent particle physicist, Professor Kalmus will receive the distinguished award at a ceremony in September, joining 38 previous Fellows, including seven Nobel prize winners, 25 Fellows or Foreign Members of the Royal Society and 15 Lords, Knights or Dames (with some overlap!)

The most recent Honorary Fellow was Steven Chu, Nobel Prize Winner and now the United States Secretary of Energy.

In 1977 Professor Kalmus's research group at what was then Queen Mary College became part of an international collaboration to design and build a large instrument for detecting proton-antiproton particle collisions at the CERN laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland.

In 1983 this collaboration discovered the “W” and “Z”  particles. This experiment verified theories which united two of nature’s seemingly very different fundamental forces: electromagnetism (which underlies electricity generation) and the weak force (which allows the Sun to shine). Two CERN scientists received the Nobel Prize for this work, and Peter Kalmus received the Institute of Physics' Rutherford Medal in 1988. The unification of these two forces is part of a quest to see if all forces in the universe can be united into a “theory of everything”.

Over his illustrious career, Professor Kalmus has been the author of more than 200 pieces of research as well as teaching students at all levels.  Although notionally retired, he is at College most days and focuses his attention on bringing physics to the next generation of top scientists. In recent years he has given 200 talks on particle physics to about 30,000 school pupils and others in the UK, Ireland, South Africa and India.

He has been particularly active at the Institute of Physics over the past years, serving as a member of Council, Vice-President, and chair of the High Energy Physics Group, Education and Public Affairs Board, and London and South East Branch.

For media information, contact:

Neha Okhandiar
Public Relations Manager
Queen Mary University of London
email: n.okhandiar@qmul.ac.uk
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