The ELKH Centre for Energy Research (EK-CER) is proud to announce that Professor Ferenc Mezei was presented the 2021 Gothenburg Lise Meitner Award, a prestigious accolade established in 2006 by the Department of Physics at the University of Gothenburg and presented by the Gothenburg Physics Centre, operating as part of the Chalmers University of Technology (Gothenburg, Sweden). The award ceremony is planned to take place later in the year. Ferenc Mezei is a member of the Governing Board of the Eötvös Loránd Research Network.

Ferenc Mezei

Ferenc Mezei has a long history of cooperation with EK-CER and the Budapest Research Reactor (BRR) operating within it. His major achievements mentioned in the awarding laudation – “For the inventions of the neutron spin echo method and the super mirror, which have significantly advanced neutron scattering methods” – are all connected to BRR. The spin echo was first demonstrated by Mezei’s experiment at BRR in 1972 and the first super mirrors were also fabricated at the KFKI, with related testing also carried out there.

His other key invention also highlighted in the laudation covered “the long pulse neutron source concept, which is the foundation for the novel technical design of the European Spallation Source now being built in Lund.” This concept was first published in Acta Physica Hungarica in 1994. The time-of-flight technique in neutron scattering is a basic pillar of the long pulse source concept, Mezei’s contribution to its advancement is essential. This makes multiple enhancements in intensity as well as in spectral and spatial resolution for a major class of neutron instrumentation. For example, the so called ‘repetition rate multiplication’ was first demonstrated at BRR in 2002, and the first fully fledged instrument of this type was also built there in 2004. This ‘TOF-ND’ diffractometer of the Budapest Neutron Centre (BNC) outperformed all other similar instruments in the world at the time.

Ferenc Mezei played a crucial role in establishing the instrument suite of the Budapest Neutron Center (BNC), which was created after a major upgrade of the reactor in 1990. He served as chair of the International Scientific Advisory Council of BNC from 1992 to 2010. Today, he leads a pioneer project for creating a compact accelerator-based neutron source (CANS). This is an excellent example of genuine public-private partnership in the field of R&D: EK-CER in partnership with Mirrotron Ltd. are currently building Europe’s first CANS in Martonvásár to be commissioned in 2022. This has potential to be the precursor to the transformation of BRR into an accelerator-based facility following the decommissioning of the reactor, which is expected to occur after 2027. The concept of the transformation is based on the patent by Ferenc Mezei accepted in 2021.