University of Jyväskylä

The Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters Rewarded Physicists from Jyväskylä

At the 180th Anniversary of the Finnish Society of Science and Letters on the 27th of April 2018, Professor Theodor Homén award was rewarded to the Academy Professor Hannu Häkkinen and PhD Mikael Björnberg's Prize to Postdoctoral Researcher Heikki Mäntysaari.

Finnish Society of Science and Letters is the oldest science academy in Finland. It was founded in 1838 and aims to promote scientific discussion and publishing in Finland.Häkkinen

Award for significant scientific merit 

Professor Theodor Homén's Physics Award (€ 20,000) was awarded to the Academy Professor Hannu Häkkinen from the University of Jyväskylä. Häkkinen is an internationally renowned computational nanoscience expert. He studies the physical, chemical and biological properties of nanostructure at the metal-molecular interfaces by applying theoretical and computational methods. The research focuses particularly on metallic nanoparticles that are protected by organic molecules and on nanostructures, and on the applications to catalysis, sensors and biocompatible labels.

Häkkinen works at the Department of Physics and at the Department of Chemistry at the University of Jyväskylä and at the Nanoscience Center (NSC) in cooperation with NSC groups and with ten foreign research teams. He is an internationally renowned and respected researcher with a large network of foreign collaborators. He has been a director of the Nanoscience Center and has been a member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters since 2015.

The young scientist studies the structure of protons and atomic nuclei 

FT Mikael Björnberg's Prize for Young Theoretical Physicist (7500 €) was awarded to PhD Heikki Mäntysaari. Heikki Mäntysaari works between theoretical particle and nuclear physics, studying the structure of protons and atomic nuclei accelerated to high energy. He is interested in how protons and atomic nuclei are made of the fundamental building blocks of matter, quarks and gluons. In particular, he is interested in the extremely dense state of matter, known as the Color Glass Condensate, which is formed when the gluon density grows very large at high energies.Mäntysaari

Knowing the properties of such a matter is essential, for example, for analysing the measurements from the CERN experiments in which quark gluon plasma is produced by colliding lead nuclei.

Mäntysaari has also participated in the design of the electron-ion collider research program, a new accelerator planned for the next decade in the United States. This device achieves a completely new precision in exploring the structure of the atomic nuclei and enables precision studies of the theory of quantum chromo dynamics, which describes the interactions between the building blocks of matter. Its findings will also be essential in interpreting the measurements from the CERN experiments.

Heikki Mäntysaari obtained his PhD at the University of Jyväskylä in 2015. He was a postdoctoral researcher at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York, USA for the years 2015-2017. Currently, he is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Physics at the University of Jyväskylä. The young scientist has published 19 scientific articles.

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