Distinguished Scientist

Molecular physicist Sir Paul Callaghan, who was best known for his work with magnetic resonance, a field that has practical applications in everything from health care to industrial production, has died. He was 64. “New Zealand has suffered a tremendous loss,” Sir Peter Gluckman, Prime Minister John Key’s chief science adviser, said. “Paul has been our most distinguished public scientist and in the world of molecular physics has been a giant.” Callaghan was also known for his work on nanoscience, which involves studying properties of substances at the scale of the individual atom. He won numerous accolades over his career, and was elected a Fellow to the Royal Society of London. In 2009, he was honored with a knighthood and in 2011 was named New Zealander of the Year. An outspoken public intellectual, Callaghan argued in favor of commercializing science. In 2004, he founded Magritek, a Wellington-based company that used magnetic resonance imaging and nuclear magnetic resonance for industrial and research applications. Callaghan began his studies at Victoria University, where he completed a degree in physics, before continuing them at the University of Oxford, where he earned a doctorate.

Sir Paul Callaghan: August 19 1947 – March 24 2012

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