The 2022 Canadian Association of Physics (CAP) Herzberg Medal is awarded to Daryl Haggard, McGill professor and member of the Center for Research in Astrophysics of Quebec (CRAQ), in recognition of her leadership role in the development of multimessenger astronomy, and the ground-breaking discovery of the electromagnetic signal accompanying gravitational waves from colliding neutron stars.
The CAP Herzberg Medal recognizes significant achievement in any field of research by an early-career Canadian physicist. The annual CAP Herzberg Medal was introduced in 1970.
Haggard is a world-renowned expert in observational studies of black holes, including Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole in the Milky Way Galaxy. She uses radio, submillimeter, infrared, and X-ray telescopes to investigate exotic black hole environments, where strong gravity plays a key role. She is a contributor to the first, ground-breaking direct images of supermassive black holes with the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) and other elite observatories on the ground and in space. She is also internationally known for her contributions to multi-messenger astrophysics, including the first joint discovery of X-ray and gravitational wave emission from the collision of two neutron stars detected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave and Virgo Observatories.
“I am honoured to receive the 2022 CAP Herzberg Medal,” said Haggard. “Combining photons and gravitational waves offers new insights into the secrets of black holes and neutron stars. I am thrilled to join in these exciting discoveries. Thank you to my nominators and reference writers, to everyone at McGill, and always to my wonderful family.”
Professor Haggard has worked extensively to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in the sciences. She has served on national committees for equity in STEM both in Canada and the US, including the American Astronomical Society’s Women in Astronomy Committee and the Canadian Astronomical Society’s Equity and Inclusivity Committee.
Prior to joining the McGill Department of Physics and the Trottier Space Institute at McGill in 2015, Haggard held a prize postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University’s Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics, and a faculty position in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Amherst College. Her work has been honoured by a prestigious CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholarship, a Canada Research Chair in Multi-messenger Astrophysics (Tier 2), the 2020 McGill Principal’s Prize for Emerging Researchers, election to the Royal Society of Canada College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists in 2021, and the Royal Society of Canada’s 2022 Rutherford Memorial Medal in Physics. As a part of her collaborative work with the EHT, Haggard is co-recipient of the 2021 Group Achievement Award (A) from the United Kingdom’s Royal Astronomical Society and the 2020 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics.
A series of virtual plenary medal talks will be organized to honour the 2022 medal recipients. The talk schedule will be posted on the CAP’s website and notification of each talk will be issued once arranged. The Canadian Association of Physicists, founded in 1945, is a professional association representing over 1600 individual physicists and physics students in Canada, the U.S. and overseas, as well as several corporate, institutional, and departmental Members. In addition to its learned activities, the CAP, through its charitable arm – the CAP Foundation, also undertakes activities intended to encourage students to pursue a career in physics.
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