Lawrence Bragg Medal and Prize

The Lawrence Bragg Medal and Prize was instituted by Council of the Institute of Physics and The Physical Society in 1965. The first award was made in 1967. The medal is named after Sir William Lawrence Bragg, who had an international reputation for the popularisation and teaching of physics. In 2016 the award was elevated to the Gold Medals to recognise the importance of education within the physics community.

The physicist behind the medal
Sir William Lawrence Bragg was an Australian-born British physicist. In 1915 he became the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics, being awarded the honour jointly with his father, William Henry Bragg, for their work on X-ray crystallography. The law of X-ray diffraction, the basis of determining crystal structure, was discovered by Bragg and is now named after him.

Bragg was director of Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory when James Watson and Francis Crick used the technique that he had pioneered in discovering the double-helix structure of DNA. Bragg was a Fellow of the Royal Society and a winner of its Hughes Medal, Copley Medal and Royal Medal. He served as president of the Institute of Physics over 1939–43.

The award shall be made for outstanding and sustained contributions to physics education. Medal winners have had significant impact on one or more of the following: 

  • the development of teachers
  • teaching materials
  • curriculum projects
  • the assessment process
  • research in physics education
  • diversity in physics education

The medal will be gold and will be accompanied by a prize of £1000 and a certificate.


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