Diamonds are forever…

1 December 2000


At a graduation ceremony at Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg, South Africa, technician Mik Rebak was awarded an honorary MSc for his ingenious work in engineering diamond targets in nuclear and atomic physics. These targets have been used in research at (among others) Witwatersrand, CERN, the Paul Scherrer Institute (Switzerland), the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (Grenoble), the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (UK), TRIUMF (Canada), Darmstadt Technical University, the Max Planck Institutes of Nuclear Physics at Heidelberg and Solid State Physics at Stuttgart, Aarhus (Denmark), the US Naval Laboratory in Washington, and Vanderbilt University, Tennessee.

The diamonds are both natural and synthetic, supplied by De Beers Industrial Diamonds. At CERN, the diamond targets were used in experiments using electron beams with energies of up to 250 GeV to investigate strong field and coherent effects in quantum electrodynamics, and are being used as a quarter-wave plate to produce high energy circularly polarized photons.

At the same ceremony, Achim Richter of Darmstadt Technical University and former chairman of CERN’s ISOLDE Experiments Committee was awarded an honorary doctorate.

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