American Physical Society announces 2021 awards

12 October 2020

W.K.H. Panofsky Prize

The W K H Panofsky Prize in experimental particle physics has been awarded to Henry Sobel, professor emeritus of the University of California, Irvine and Edward Kearns of Boston University for pioneering and leadership contributions to large underground experiments for the discovery of neutrino oscillations and sensitive searches for baryon-number violation. As the US co-spokesperson, Sobel is heavily involved with Japan’s Super-Kamiokande experiment (Super-K), and is also involved in the next-generation neutrino experiments – DUNE, in the US and Hyper-K in Japan. Kearns is also involved in Super-K and DUNE, along with being a member of the Tokai-To-Kamioka (T2K) experiment and active in the search for dark matter using techniques based on cryogenic noble liquids.

Vernon Barger

J.J. Sakurai Prize

The J J Sakurai Prize for theoretical physics has been given to Vernon Barger of the University of Wisconsin-Madison for pioneering work in collider physics contributing to the discovery and characterisation of the W boson, top quark and Higgs boson, and for the development of incisive strategies to test theoretical ideas with experiments.


Robert R. Wilson Prize 

In the field of accelerators, Yuri Fyodorovich Orlov, formerly of Cornell University, was awarded the Robert R Wilson Prize for his pioneering innovation in accelerator theory and practice. Orlov received the news shortly before his passing on 27 September.

Phiala Shanahan


Maria Goeppert Mayer Award

Phiala E Shanahan of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been granted the Mario Goeppert Mayer Award, which recognises an outstanding contribution to physics research by a women, “for key insights into the structure and interactions of hadrons and nuclei using numerical and analytical methods”.

Chanda Prescod-Weinstein


Edward A.Bouchet Award 

The Edward A Bouchet Award, which promotes the participation of underrepresented minorities in physics, has been awarded to Chanda Prescod-Weinstein of the University of New Hampshire for her contributions to theoretical cosmology and particle physics and for co-creating the Particles for Justice movement.

Berndt Mueller



Herman Feshbach Prize

The Herman Feshbach Prize in theoretical nuclear physics has been awarded to Berndt Mueller of Brookhaven National Laboratory for his contributions to the identification of quark-gluon plasma signatures.


Jaroslav Trnka


Henry Primakoff Award

The 2021 Henry Primakoff Award for early-career particle physics has gone to Jaroslav Trnka of the University of California, Davis for seminal work on the computation of particle scattering amplitudes.

Micheal Barnett



Dwight Nicholson Medal

The 2020 Dwight Nicholson Medal for Outreach has been given to Michael Barnett of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory “for a lifetime of innovations in outreach bringing the discoveries and searches of particle physicists and cosmologist to multitudes of students and lay people around the world.”

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