University of Saskatchewan

September 21, 2014   

U of S Honors Renowned Physicist as Distinguished Researcher

John Tse
May 21, 2010

John Tse, Canada Research Chair in Theoretical Materials Science and pioneer in his field, has been recognized with the University of Saskatchewan’s 2010 Distinguished Researcher Award.

Based in the department of physics and engineering physics, Tse is a computational theorist and materials scientist internationally recognized as a researcher who is equally at home in both theory and experiment. Using computational methods and a beamline at the Canadian Light Source on the U of S campus, Tse explores the behaviour of materials under high pressures and temperatures.

“This line of research could lead to advanced alloys and electronics, as well as a better understanding of the chemistry and dynamics of Earth’s molten iron core,” explained Tse. “While we cannot go to the centre of the earth, we can mimic those extreme conditions in a laboratory, investigate the properties of materials under these conditions, and extrapolate and predict exactly what is going on under our feet. That is very important in understanding the structure of the earth.”

In one of his most recent achievements, Tse identified a new family of superconductors that could eventually lead to the design of better superconducting materials for a wide variety of industrial uses. Along with colleagues in Germany, Tse produced the first experimental proof that superconductivity can occur in hydrogen compounds known as molecular hydrides.

“We can show that if you apply pressure to a simple molecular hydrogen compound, you can get superconductivity,” said Tse. “Validation of this hypothesis and understanding of the mechanism are initial steps for design of better superconducting materials.”

Tse was recruited to the U of S in 2004 after a prestigious career at the National Research Council’s Steacie Institute for Molecular Sciences.

Information about the award and past recipients is available at:


For more information, contact:

Kathryn Warden
U of S Research Communications
(306) 966-2506

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