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"TIM" 2003 Obituary


TIMMERMANS o@ca.on.manitoulin.howland.little_current.manitoulin_expositor 2003-09-10 published
In loving memory of a dear wife, mother and grandmother, Elizabeth TIMMERMANS, September 9, 1921 to September 5, 2003. A resident of Little Current passed away at Manitoulin Health Centre at the age of 81.
She was born in Wakefield Yorkshire, England to Walter and Edith ASHTON. Predeceased by parents and brother Walter, all of England. Elizabeth met Gerald while he was stationed in England with the Air Force during WW2.
They married May 10, 1945 in Bramley Leeds, Yorkshire, England. They moved to Blind River in 1946 and then to Little Current in 1952.
Elizabeth leaves to mourn, her beloved husband Gerry, sons Bob and his wife Anca of California, Craig of Little Current and her daughter Catherine and her husband David ANDREWS of Port Elgin. She will be missed by her three grand_sons Todd and Brett ANDREWS and Carson TIMMERMANS. Funeral Service was held on Monday, September 8, 2003 at Holy Trinity Anglican Church Little Current, Ont. Cremation. Island Funeral Home.

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TIMUSK o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-10-17 published
A true hero of Canadian science
Professor who won 1994 Nobel Prize didn't think his work was very important but had to change his mind after he got award
By Allison LAWLOR, Special to The Globe and Mail Friday, October 17, 2003 - Page R13
Canadian physicist Bertram BROCKHOUSE once likened winning the Nobel Prize to winning the Stanley Cup.
Dr. BROCKHOUSE, who shared the Nobel Prize in physics in 1994 for his work developing a technique to measure the atomic structure of matter, died on Monday in a Hamilton hospital. He was 85.
After the prize announcement, the visibly abashed emeritus professor of physics at McMaster University told reporters in Hamilton that when the Swedish Academy of Science telephoned him at 6: 45 a.m. his reaction was "enormous astonishment."
"It came as a complete surprise," he said. "I would have otherwise been dressed and ready."
He said at the time he was unaware he had been nominated.
Aside from his own personal achievement, Dr. BROCKHOUSE is the only Canadian Nobel laureate who was born, educated and completed his life's work in this country.
Dr. BROCKHOUSE shared his Nobel prize with Clifford SHULL, a former professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who died in 2001 at the age of 85. They were honoured for research conducted at the first nuclear reactors in Canada and the United States as early as the 1940s and 1950s.
In announcing the prize, the Royal Swedish Academy said "Clifford SHULL helped answer the question of where atoms 'are' and Bertram N. BROCKHOUSE the question of what atoms 'do.'
Much of Dr. BROCKHOUSE's award-winning work was carried on at the Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories, a facility operated by what is now called Atomic Energy of Canada, where he was a researcher from 1950 until 1962. The original Chalk River reactor, located 190 kilometres northwest of Ottawa, drew curious scientists from around the globe in the 1950s. Dr. BROCKHOUSE used the neutron beams from the nuclear reactors to probe materials at the atomic level. Using a device he built for his research, known as the triple-axis neutron spectrometer, he is recognized for improving the understanding of the way neutrons bounce off atomic nuclei.
His triple-axis neutron spectrometer is still used around the world and parts of the original device he built are still at Chalk River, said Dr. Bruce GAULIN, who holds the Brockhouse Chair in the physics of materials at McMaster.
Dr. BROCKHOUSE worked with simple materials like aluminum and steel. Today the technique he developed, known as neutron scattering, is used in widely differing areas such as the study of superconductors, elastic properties of polymers and virus structure.
Scientists had previously relied on radiation from devices like X-rays to look at the atomic structure of matter. "He is a heroic figure," Dr. GAULIN said.
Described as competitive in his scientific endeavours, Dr. BROCKHOUSE didn't want to miss a single minute. A colleague at Chalk River once asked him why he worked so hard. "Every minute of every day is unique," he replied. "And once that minute is gone, it is lost forever."
While he had little spare time during his years at Chalk River, he did use opportunities to take part in a number of amateur dramatic productions, including three operettas. A great lover of music, particularly for the works of Gilbert and Sullivan, Dr. BROCKHOUSE was known for loudly singing excerpts while working on experiments.
Bertram Neville BROCKHOUSE was born on July 15, 1918, in Lethbridge, Alberta. "My first memories are of a farm near Milk River where I lived with my mother and father and my sister, Alice Evelyn, and a variety of farm and domestic animals," he wrote in an autobiographical sketch for the academy.
His parents Israel Bertram BROCKHOUSE and Mable Emily (NEVILLE) BROCKHOUSE had two other children. One son died in infancy and another went on to become a railroad civil engineer. The family moved to Vancouver while Dr. BROCKHOUSE was still a young boy. He completed high school in 1935 and instead of going to university went to work as a laboratory assistant and then as a radio repairman. When the Second World War came along he used his radio skills as an electronics technician in the Royal Canadian Navy. He spent some months at sea, but most of his war years were spent servicing sonar equipment at a shore base.
After the war, he returned to Vancouver to attend university at the University of British Columbia. He later went to the University of Toronto where he completed his PhD in 1950 with a lofty thesis entitled "The Effect of Stress and Temperature upon the Magnetic Properties of Ferromagnetic Materials".
In 1962, Dr. BROCKHOUSE joined the department of physics at McMaster University and remained there until his retirement in 1984. He and his wife Doris raised their six children in Ancaster, a small community outside Hamilton, in a house they occupied for close to 40 years.
At the university, Dr. BROCKHOUSE was highly regarded as a professor known for having high expectations of his students and for most often being deep in thought.
"You had the sense you were in the presence of an unusual person," said Dr. Tom TIMUSK, an emeritus professor of physics and astronomy at McMaster.
Dr. TIMUSK, who shared an office with Dr. BROCKHOUSE at McMaster for some time, said his colleague jokingly told students after he won the Nobel Prize that he didn't think his work was very important but that had to change his mind after he got the award.
"I think he genuinely believed that what he did was good work, but not so important," Dr. GAULIN said.
Dr. BROCKHOUSE likened himself to an explorer who woke up on any given morning not knowing exactly what he was going to do, except follow some vague instinct about what should be explored next.
He also liked to say that scientists were really just mapmakers with a greater eye for detail. "The metaphor that I think of is that of the atlas you're all familiar with. What we work on in basic science is just a bigger atlas, with places and objects and so on that are not as familiar."
Dr. BROCKHOUSE leaves his wife, children Ann, Gordon, Ian, Beth, Charles and James, and 10 grandchildren.

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