Paul Dirac Medal and Prize

Council, recognising that the Institute did not have an award specifically for theoretical physics, decided in 1985 to introduce a new medal and prize to be named after Paul Dirac an Honorary Fellow, who had died the previous year.

The first award was made in 1987. In 1992 Council decided that the Paul Dirac Medal and Prize should become one of the Premier Awards, and then from 2008 that it should be one of its Gold Medals.

The physicist behind the medal
Paul Dirac was an English–Swiss theoretical physicist who made fundamental contributions to the development of quantum mechanics and quantum electrodynamics. His eponymous equation describes the behaviour of fermions and predicted the existence of antimatter. Dirac shared the 1933 Nobel Prize in Physics with Erwin Schrödinger for their work on quantum theory.

The award shall be made for outstanding and sustained contributions to theoretical (including mathematical and computational) physics. The medal will be gold and shall be accompanied by a prize of £1000 and a certificate.


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