New award honors late Fermilab physicist

John Elias, a long-time scientist at Fermilab and recently deceased, has been memorialized by a new award to be presented at the triennial Pisa Advanced Detector Conferences in Elba, Italy. Elias, who worked at Fermilab from 1973 to 2005, was an avid participant at the Pisa Conferences, where he was valued for his wisdom and humor, and where he pursued a lifelong interest in photo-detection instrumentation. In recognition of this interest, Hamamatsu Photonics and the Pisa meeting jointly sponsor the John Elias Memorial Award, a 1,500-Euro award for best poster on photo-detectors at the conference. Hamamatsu presented the first Elias Memorial Award at the 12th Pisa conference, which took place from May 20 to 26, to CERN’s Stefan Gundacker.

Gundacker received the award for the poster, “SiPM Time Resolution: From Single Photon to Saturation.” He and his colleagues researched a variety of silicon photomultipliers to study ultra-fast time measurements. They found the timing resolution improved with increasing signal size, so that for the very smallest pulses, single photons, they found an accuracy of 180 picoseconds, and an accuracy of 10 picoseconds for the very largest pulses. This work complements research at Fermilab, where scientists are studying ultrafast SiPM measurements for imaging in large-scale astrophysics detectors, medical instrumentation and other applications.

Stefan Gundacker of CERN received the first John Elias Memorial Award. Photo: S. Gundacker