Dr. David Hornidge is the only Canadian lead-researcher on the international team
© Mount Allison Photo
Mount Allison University physics professor Dr. Dave Hornidge, right at the Mainz Microtron Accelerator at the University of Mainz in Germany. Hornidge is part of a team of international researchers recently awarded $50-million in funding from the German Research Foundation.
SACKVILLE, N.B. – Mount Allison University physics professor Dr. David Hornidge is part of an international group of physicists who has received a research grant valued at approximately $50-million from the German Research Foundation.
The funding is part of the Collaborative Research Centre program and will specifically aid research at the Mainz Microtron Accelerator, run by the Institute for Nuclear Physics at the University of Mainz in Germany over a 12-year period. The project is currently in its second year.
The group’s research examines the strong nuclear force — one of the four fundamental forces in nature. Hornidge is the lead-researcher for a project looking at polarizabilities, examining the internal structure of the protons and neutrons that make up the atomic nucleus. This type of pure research has been instrumental in many of the major discoveries over the past century.
“Our research is fundamental, basic, ‘pure’ research, looking at theories around the strong nuclear force,” explained Hornidge. “While people tend to think of the very high energy scales in particle physics, looking at many of the same issues at medium and low energies is equally as important in this field. There’s still a lot we don’t know. I’m excited to be part of this network.”
A leading researcher in subatomic physics, Hornidge collaborates with a national and international network of physicists and has published in some of the leading academic journals in his field. He has been conducting research at the MAMI facility since 1999 and served as a postdoctoral fellow in Experimental Subatomic Physics, at the Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz, Germany, prior to coming to Mount Allison in 2003.
The Mount Allison 2013 Paul Paré Medal winner (awarded for Excellence in Research and Community Activity), Hornidge also involves his students in his international research. Between three and four Mount Allison students join Hornidge in Germany every summer to undertake projects at the MAMI facility, giving them access to a world-renowned technology as part of their undergraduate education.
In addition to this major funding from the German Research Foundation, Hornidge, his students, and research partners (from Saint Mary's University and the University of Regina) have also received funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to assist with their research endeavours both in North America and at the MAMI facility — approximately $1-million over the last decade. An adjunct professor at Dalhousie University and the University of Regina, Hornidge also oversees several graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in addition to his undergraduate team at Mount Allison.