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Isaac Newton Medal and Prize recipients

For world-leading contributions to physics by an individual of any nationality.


Professor James Binney

For advancing the science of stellar dynamics and using strong physical intuition to widen and deepen our understanding of how galaxies are structured and formed.

Read more about Professor James Binney


Professor Margaret Murnane
University of Colorado, Boulder

For pioneering and sustained contributions to the development of ultrafast lasers and coherent X-ray sources and the use of such sources to understand the quantum nature of materials.


Professor David Deutsch
University of Oxford, Department of Physics, and Wolfson College, Oxford

For founding the discipline named quantum computation and establishing quantum computation's fundamental idea, now known as the ‘qubit’ or quantum bit.


Professor Nader Engheta
University of Pennsylvania

For groundbreaking innovation and transformative contributions to electromagnetic complex materials and nanoscale optics, and for pioneering development of the fields of near-zero-index metamaterials, and material-inspired analogue computation and optical nanocircuitry.


Professor Sir Michael Pepper
University College London
For the creation of the field of semiconductor nanoelectronics and discovery of new quantum phenomena.


Professor Paul Corkum
University of Ottawa and National Research Council of Canada
For his outstanding contributions to experimental physics and to attosecond science – from the femtosecond scale of the motion of atoms within molecules, to the ultimate attosecond scale of the motion of electrons within atoms – and for pioneering work which has led to the first-ever experimental image of a molecular orbital and the first-ever space–time image of an attosecond pulse. Attosecond techniques can freeze the motion of electrons within atoms and molecules, observe quantum mechanical orbitals, and follow chemical reactions.


Professor Charles L Bennett
Johns Hopkins University
For his leadership of the Microwave Anisotropy Probe, a satellite experiment that revolutionized cosmology, transforming it from an order-of-magnitude game to a paragon of precision science.

Watch the 2017 Newton Lecture and interview with Professor Charles L Bennett.


Professor Sir Thomas Kibble
Imperial College London
For developing the theory of symmetry-breaking in quantum field theory, which has led to quantitative models for the origin of the masses of elementary particles, together with experimentally verified applications to soliton formation, and models for structure formation in the early universe


Professor Eli Yablonovitch
University of California, Berkeley
For his visionary and foundational contributions to photonic nanostructures.

Watch the 2015 Newton Lecture and interview with Professor Eli Yablonovitch.


Professor Deborah Jin
National Institute of Standards and Technology and University of Colorado
For pioneering the field of quantum-degenerate Fermi gases.

Watch the 2014 Newton Lecture.


Sir John Pendry
Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London
For his seminal contributions to surface science, disordered systems and photonics.

Watch the 2013 Newton Lecture.


Professor Martin Rees, Lord Rees of Ludlow
Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge University
For his outstanding contributions to relativistic astrophysics and cosmology.

Watch the 2012 Newton Lecture.


Professor Leo P. Kadanoff
University of Chicago
For inventing conceptual tools that reveal the deep implications of scale invariance on the behavior of phase transitions and dynamical systems.

Watch the 2011 Newton Lecture part one and part two.


Professor Edward Witten
Institute for Advanced Studies
For his many profound contributions that have transformed areas of particle theory, quantum field theory and general relativity.

Watch the 2010 Newton Lecture part one and part two


Professor Alan H Guth
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
For his invention of the inflationary universe model, his recognition that inflation would solve major problems confronting then-standard cosmology, and his calculation, with others, of the spectrum of density fluctuations that gave rise to structure in the universe.

Watch the 2009 Newton Lecture part one and part two.


Prof Dr Anton Zeilinger
University of Vienna
For his pioneering conceptual and experimental contributions to the foundations of quantum physics, which have become the cornerstone for the rapidly-evolving field of quantum information.

Watch the 2008 Newton Lecture.