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Institute of Physics Awards 2019

Our awards aim to build and reinforce a sense of community by recognising and rewarding excellence in individuals and teams who have made a contribution to physics in the UK and Ireland.

Here are our 2019 award winners.

Isaac Newton Medal and Prize

The Isaac Newton Medal and Prize is for world-leading contributions to physics by an individual of any nationality.

The inscription on the medal reads: Sir Isaac Newton 1642 to 1727
  • Professor Sir Michael Pepper receives the Isaac Newton Medal and Prize for the creation of the field of semiconductor nanoelectronics and discovery of new quantum phenomena.

Read more about the Isaac Newton Medal and Prize.

Gold Medals

Our six Gold Medals recognise outstanding and sustained contributions by physicists of international renown to a wide range of physics.

Inscription on the medal reads: Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac
  • Dr Lisa Jardine-Wright and Professor Mark Warner receive the Lawrence Bragg Medal and Prize for jointly setting up and directing the Isaac Physics programme which has revolutionised physics education for teachers and students in an extraordinary number of UK schools and is now attracting international attention.

  • Professor Chris Hancock receives the Katharine Burr Blodgett Medal and Prize for designing and patenting an electro-surgery platform enabling microwave and bipolar radio frequency energy to be delivered from a range of miniature endoscopic devices to treat lesions in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

  • Professor R Keith Ellis receives the Paul Dirac Medal and Prize for his seminal work in quantum chromodynamics (QCD) where he performed many of the key calculations that led to the acceptance of QCD as the correct theory of the strong interaction.

  • Professor Roy Taylor receives the Michael Faraday Medal and Prize for his extensive, internationally leading contributions to the development of spectrally diverse, ultrafast-laser sources and pioneering fundamental studies of nonlinear fibre optics that have translated to scientific and commercial application.

  • Professor Anne-Christine Davis receives the Richard Glazebrook Medal and Prize for her outstanding support and leadership in physics, particularly for women and those from non-traditional backgrounds, for her leadership of the UK particle cosmology community, and her gender championship roles.

  • Dr Philip Ball receives the William Thomson, Lord Kelvin Medal and Prize for being an informed and lucid writer and broadcaster who opens doors into science, and especially physics, for many people who otherwise find them closed.

Read more about our Gold Medals.

Silver Subject Medals

Our Silver Subject Medals are awarded annually to recognise and reward distinguished contributions to physics.

The inscription on the medal reads: Rosalind Franklin 1920 to 1958
  • Professor Cathryn Mitchell receives the Edward Appleton Medal and Prize for pioneering research in tomography and data assimilation revealing a completely new perspective on the Earth's ionosphere in response to extreme space weather.

  • Professor Ian Shipsey receives the James Chadwick Medal and Prize for his elucidation of the physics of heavy quarks, the development of the enabling instrumentation, and leadership of scientific collaborations.

  • Professor Wilson Poon receives the Sam Edwards Medal and Prize for his outstanding contributions to the fundamental study of condensed matter physics, statistical physics and biophysics using model colloidal systems.

  • Professor Ruth Cameron receives the Rosalind Franklin Medal and Prize for her innovative application of physics to regenerative medicine and pharmaceutical delivery.

  • Professor Kai Bongs receives the Dennis Gabor Medal and Prize for his contribution to the development of quantum sensors and the translation to industrial applications and the development of the UK National Quantum Technology (QT) Hub for Sensors and Metrology.

  • Professor Gilles Chabrier receives the Fred Hoyle Medal and Prize for his seminal contributions to a variety of astrophysical domains, from planetary to stellar and galactic astronomy.

  • Professor Robert Hadfield receives the James Joule Medal and Prize for the advancement of infrared single photon detection technology, through innovations in superconducting devices and cryogenic engineering.

  • Professor David Hawkes receives the Peter Mansfield Medal and Prize for being an internationally recognised authority on medical imaging research working closely with healthcare providers and industry to address major unsolved clinical problems and to translate novel imaging technologies to the clinic.

  • Professor Cristina Lazzeroni receives the Lise Meitner Medal and Prize for her exceptional innovation and leadership in making contemporary particle physics accessible to a large and diverse audience.

  • Professor Stephen Hayden receives the Nevill Mott Medal and Prize for pioneering studies of spin and charge excitations in cuprate superconductors and other strongly correlated electron systems.

  • Professor Alexander Schekochihin receives the Cecelia Payne-Gaposchkin Medal and Prize for elucidating the dynamics that regulate the properties of turbulent, magnetised laboratory and astrophysical plasmas.

  • Professor Philip Walker receives the Ernest Rutherford Medal and Prize for advances in understanding metastable nuclear states: their origins, properties and applications.

  • Professor Nigel Cooper receives the John William Strutt, Lord Rayleigh Medal and Prize for profound contributions to the quantum theory of many-particle systems, concerning both topological phases of cold atoms in artificial gauge fields and novel phenomena in electronic materials.

  • Professor Irina Grigorieva receives the David Tabor Medal and Prize for her distinguished and distinctive contributions to research on physics of two-dimensional materials and nanotechnology, including magnetism, superconductivity and electron transport in graphene, related 2D crystals and their heterostructures.

  • Professor Simon Cornish receives the Joseph Thomson Medal and Prize for outstanding contributions to experiments on ultra-cold atoms and molecules, in particular, the formation of matter-wave solitons and ultra-cold ground state molecules and their interactions.

  • Professor William Barnes receives the Thomas Young Medal and Prize for his outstanding contributions to the development of nanophotonics, especially in plasmonics and nanoscale light-molecule interactions.

Read more about our Silver Subject Medals.

Bronze Early Career Medals

Our Bronze Early Career medals are for exceptional physicists in the early stages of their careers.

The inscription on the medal reads: Jocelyn Bell Burnell
  • Dr Yolanda Ohene receives the Jocelyn Bell Burnell Medal and Prize for developing a groundbreaking MRI technique that non-invasively measures blood-brain permeability to water – a possible biomarker for neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer's Disease.
  • Dr Adam Nahum receives the James Clerk Maxwell Medal and Prize for his outstanding contributions to understanding universal aspects of many-body quantum systems both in and out of equilibrium.

  • Dr Jonathan Breeze receives the Henry Moseley Medal and Prize for his pioneering work on room-temperature solid-state masers. In particular, his breakthrough demonstration of continuous-wave room-temperature diamond masers that pave the way for a new generation of optical-microwave quantum devices.

  • Dr Richard Grant, Dr Shima Ghasemi and Dr Abbas Al Shimary receive the Clifford Paterson Medal and Prize for the development and application of sensors and algorithms to detect and analyse the magnetic field of the heart (magnetocardiography, MCG) for the rule-out of cardiac conditions. 

Read more about our Bronze Early Career Medals.