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13th July – DIAS medal awarded to German scientist

L-r: Prof. Luke Drury (DIAS), Prof. Christian Spiering (DESY-Zeuthen)

Professor Christian Spiering was awarded the 2017 O’Ceallaigh medal at the opening of the 35th International Cosmic Ray Conference in Busan, Korea, on Thursday 13th July.  The medal was  presented by Professor Luke Drury, Director of the School of Cosmic Physics at DIAS.

The O’Ceallaigh medal was established by DIAS and the estate of Cormac O’Ceallaigh to honour individuals who have made major contributions to what is now called Astroparticle physics.  The medalist is selected by the Astroparticle physics commission of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, and the O’Ceallaigh medal is regarded as the premier award in the field.

Cormac O’Ceallaigh was a distinguished Irish physicist who worked in the DIAS School of Cosmic Physics from 1953 to 1984. He did important early work on meson physics including their neutrino decay modes before turning in later life to questions of the composition of cosmic rays.

Professor Spiering, who was born in what was then East Germany, now works in DESY-Zeuthen near Berlin. Professor  Karl-Heinz Kampert, chair of the commission on Astroparticle Physics, noted that Professor Spiering had been selected “for his outstanding contributions to cosmic ray physics and to the newly emerging field of neutrino astronomy in particular”.  Presenting the medal Professor Drury remarked “It is particularly appropriate that we honour Christian Spiering today because some of O’Ceallaigh’s  early work was on neutrino physics”.

The Commission on Astroparticle Physics (C4), previously known as the Commission on Cosmic Rays, was established by the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics in 1947 to promote the exchange of information and views among the members of the international scientific community in the general field of Astroparticle Physics.

The Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) is a statutory corporation established in 1940 under the Institute for Advanced Studies Act of that year. It is a publicly-funded independent centre for research in basic disciplines. DIAS has three constituent schools: The School of Celtic Studies, The School of Theoretical Physics, The School of Cosmic Physics.

Further information about DIAS is available at www.dias.ie.

For more information on the medal see https://www.dias.ie/2013/07/05/astro-aboutus-oceallaigh/

For more information on Christian Spiering see https://www-zeuthen.desy.de/~csspier/