Dr. Eric Svensson (1940-2018) – Obituary

It is with sadness that the following announcement is made on behalf of the family of Dr. Eric Svensson, who was an NRC Researcher Emeritus with the Canadian Neutron Beam Centre in Chalk River.

Dr. Eric C. Svensson, National Research Council Researcher Emeritus, passed away on May 16, 2018 following a brief battle with cancer.

Eric, who completed his Ph.D. in Physics at McMaster University in 1967 under the supervision of Bertram Brockhouse, spent his entire scientific career as a research scientist at the Chalk River Laboratories, first with AECL and subsequently with the National Research Council.  He was a leader in the experimental condensed matter physics research community, applying the techniques of neutron scattering to study the static and dynamic properties of matter under a wide range of conditions.  He made fundamental contributions to understanding the different amorphous and crystalline phases of ice that occur at low temperatures and high pressures and was widely acclaimed for his pioneering experiments that demonstrated the existence of a Bose-Einstein condensate in the superfluid phase of liquid helium-4 and measured the associated condensate fractions.  Eric’s many research contributions were recognized internationally and he was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a Fellow of the Institute of Physics (U.K.), and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.  He remained actively engaged in research following his retirement and was named a National Research Council Researcher Emeritus in 2006.

Eric was passionate about the advancement of physics in Canada and served for more than 14 years on the Council of the Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP), including as Chair of the Division of Condensed Matter and Materials Physics (1993), President of the CAP (1997-98), Director of International Affairs (1998-2002), and Chair of the CAP’s Science Policy Committee (2003-2006).

In recognition of his many years of service to the Canadian physics community, as well as the important role that scholarships played in his education, the CAP is partnering with Eric’s family to establish an endowment fund for the “Eric Svensson Memorial Graduate Scholarship.” Charitable donations toward the establishment of this scholarship can be made at:


In accordance with Eric’s wishes, cremation has taken place.  In lieu of a formal ceremony, friends, family, and colleagues are invited to a memorial celebration of Eric’s life that will take place at the Bear’s Den Lounge in Deep River from 2-5 pm on Sunday, June 24.

Eric’s full obituary can be found at:


A shorter version that was published in the Ottawa Citizen on Saturday, May 26 can be found at:


There will also be an obituary published in the North Renfrew Times (Deep River) this Wednesday, May 30.