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On January 9th, 2023, the Department of Physics and Astronomy held a colloquium on Measurements of Fission Product Yields Using Monoenergetic Neutron and Gamma-ray Beams in honor of Professor Hugon Karwowski on the occasion of his retirement. 


The colloquium celebrated Karwowski and his many years of service to the Department of Physics and Astronomy and UNC. In introducing Karwowski’s remarks, Yue WU, Kenan Distinguished Professor and the colloquium host, laid out his colleague’s prestigious career at UNC, which began in 1984 as an assistant to the associate professor of Physics. Wu said, “Hugon was very strict with the students, but they loved him very much. Students and young faculty alike found him to be the person to seek when they needed advice. We appreciate his wisdom, insight, empathy, and being steadily logical, rational, and humorous.” 


Dr Jack Silano from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), who graduated from the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UNC six years ago and was supervised by Prof. Hugon, was the guest speaker for the colloquium. He has given an overview of a joint LLNL-LANL-TUNL research program aimed at performing high-precision FPY measurements using quasimonoenergetic neutron and gamma-ray beams at Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory. At the beginning of the presentation, Dr Silano also paid tribute to the impact of Professor Karwowski’s work in the field and the instruction and guidance he has received and benefited from. 


After the presentation and Q&A, a celebratory cake was shared, and a cordial, friendly and fun exchange took place. Before an audience of colleagues, current and former students, as well as honored guests, Karwowski delivered a very brief speech reflecting on his teaching and research career and looking forward to his upcoming retirement life. He would also go on to keep a focus on his research area. 


Professor Karwowski is loved by his students. On the RMP (rate my professors) website, previous students have left comments such as “one of the best professors you could get to know”, “Dr K is the coolest professor ever”, “Professor K is an incredible teacher and is more than just an instructor”, and “Love the man, he has a heart of gold.” 


Hugon Karwowski’s research interests include photofission, few-body physics, neutrinos and applied nuclear physics. Some of his representative publications include First measurement of the strange axial coupling constant using neutral-current quasi-elastic interactions of atmospheric neutrinos at KamLAND (Nov 2022); Abundances of Uranium and Thorium Elements in Earth Estimated by Geoneutrino Spectroscopy (Aug 2022); Exploring the multi-humped fission barrier of 238U via sub-barrier photofission (Apr 2013);  Measurements of the^{48} Ca (γ, n) reaction (Sep 2011); Precision measurements of H2(d,p)H3 and H2(d,n)He3 total cross sections at Big Bang nucleosynthesis energies (Apr 2006). To learn more about Professor Karwowski, visit his Department of Physics and Astronomy faculty profile

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