2021 IOP Awards

17 December 2021

The UK Institute of Physics has announced its 2021 awards, recognising several high-energy and nuclear physicists across three categories.

David Deutsch and Ian Chapman-2

In the gold-medal category David Deustch of the University of Oxford has been awarded the Isaac Newton Prize “for founding the discipline named quantum computation and establishing quantum computation’s fundamental idea, now known as the ‘qubit’ or quantum bit.” In the same category, Ian Chapman received the Richard Glazebrook Prize “for outstanding leadership of the UK Atomic Energy Authority and the world’s foremost fusion research and technology facility, the Joint European Torus, and the progress it has delivered in plasma physics, deuterium-tritium experiments, robotics, and new materials”.

Silver medal

Among this year’s silver-medal recipients, experimentalist Mark Lancaster of the University of Manchester earned the James Chadwick Prize “for distinguished, precise measurements in particle physics, particularly of the W boson mass and the muon’s anomalous magnetic moment”. Michael Bentley (University of York) received  the Ernest Rutherford Prize for his contributions to the understanding of fundamental symmetries in atomic nuclei, while Jerome Gauntlett (Imperial College London) received the John William Strut Lord Rayleigh Prize for applications of string theory to quantum field theory, black holes, condensed matter physics and geometry.

Bronze medals collage-2

Finally, in the bronze medal category for early-career researchers, the Daphne Jackson Prize for exceptional contributions to physics education goes to accelerator physicist Chris Edmons (University of Liverpool) in recognition of his work in improving access for the visually impaired, for example via the Tactile Collider project. And the Mary Somerville Prize for exceptional contributions to public engagement in physics goes to XinRan Lui (University of Edinburgh) for his promotion of UK research and innovation to both national and international audiences.

Lyn Evans and Tim Palmer

Acknowledging physicists who have contributed to the field generally, 2021 honorary Institute of Physics fellowships were granted to Lyn Evans (for sustained and distinguished contributions to, and leadership in, the design, construction and operation of particle accelerator systems, and in particular the LHC) and climate physicist Tim Palmer, a proponent of building a ‘CERN for climate change’, for his pioneering work exploring the nonlinear dynamics and predictability of the climate system.


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