# Theoretical, mathematical or computational physics

**History**

In 2008 Council established the John William Strutt, Lord Rayleigh Medal and Prize.

**The physicist behind the medal**Lord Rayleigh was an English physicist who made fundamental discoveries in acoustics and optics – in particular, what is now known as Rayleigh scattering – the elastic scattering of light by particles smaller than its wavelength, which is the reason the sky appears blue – and Rayleigh waves, which are acoustics waves travelling along the surface of a solid.

He also discovered argon, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1904. Rayleigh was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society in 1873 and served as its president from 1905–08, and was a winner of its Copley Medal, Royal Medal and Rumford Medal.

**Terms**The award shall be made for distinguished contributions to theoretical, (including mathematical and computational) physics. The medal will be silver and will be accompanied by a prize of £1,000 and a certificate.