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Nominations are now open for the Institute of Physics medals, which are awarded to individuals who have made distinguished contributions to physics. Each comes with a medal and a cash prize.

Of particular interest will be: 

Gold medals:

Silver Subject medals:

Bronze Early Career medals:

Submit a Nomination

Deadline 31 Jan

 

PLUS: Rutherford Plasma Physics Communication Prize

Deadline 16 Feb 2018

Daphne Jackson Medal and Prize

History
In 2016 Council established the Daphne Jackson Medal and Prize.

The physicist behind the medal
Daphne Jackson became Britain’s first female professor of physics in 1971 when she was appointed by Surrey University at the age of 34, and later rose to be the dean. She was president of the Women’s Engineering Society and vice-president of the Institute of Physics, after being its youngest ever Fellow. She introduced the returner’s fellowships for women who were having difficulty getting back into science after a career break. After she died, these were named after her and have been a successful means of retraining and giving confidence to women after sometimes long breaks. Many women have benefitted from her initiative.

Terms
The award shall be made for exceptional early career contributions to physics education and to widening participation within it. The medal will be bronze and will be accompanied by a prize of £1,000 and a certificate.

Mary Somerville Medal and Prize

History
In 2016 Council established the Mary Somerville Medal and Prize. 

The physicist behind the medal
Mary Somerville was a Scottish science writer and polymath. She studied mathematics and astronomy, and was nominated to be jointly the first female member of the Royal Astronomical Society at the same time as Caroline Herschel. Somerville published her first paper, The Magnetic Properties of the Violet Rays of the Solar Spectrum, in the Proceedings of the Royal Society in 1826. Her other work, On the Connexion of the Physical Sciences, is one of the biggest-selling science books of the 19th century and was commonly used as a textbook until the early 20th century. 

Terms
The award shall be made for exceptional early career contributions to public engagement within physics. The medal will be bronze and will be accompanied by a prize of £1,000 and a certificate.

Medallists

 

Lawrence Bragg Medal and Prize

History
The Lawrence Bragg Medal and Prize was instituted by Council of the Institute of Physics and The Physical Society in 1965. The first award was made in 1967. The medal is named after Sir William Lawrence Bragg, who had an international reputation for the popularisation and teaching of physics. In 2016 the award was elevated to the Gold Medals to recognise the importance of education within the physics community.

The physicist behind the medal
Sir William Lawrence Bragg was an Australian-born British physicist. In 1915 he became the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics, being awarded the honour jointly with his father, William Henry Bragg, for their work on X-ray crystallography. The law of X-ray diffraction, the basis of determining crystal structure, was discovered by Bragg and is now named after him.

Bragg was director of Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory when James Watson and Francis Crick used the technique that he had pioneered in discovering the double-helix structure of DNA. Bragg was a Fellow of the Royal Society and a winner of its Hughes Medal, Copley Medal and Royal Medal. He served as president of the Institute of Physics over 1939–43.

Terms
The award shall be made for outstanding and sustained contributions to physics education and to widening participation within it. The medal will be gold and will be accompanied by a prize of £1000 and a certificate.

Medallists

William Thomson, Lord Kelvin Medal and Prize

History
This award was instituted by the Council of the Institute of Physics in October 1994 in recognition of the importance of promoting public awareness of the place of physics in the world. In 2016 the award was elevated to the Gold Medals to recognise the importance of outreach within the physics community.

The physicist behind the medal
Sir William Thomson, Lord Kelvin was a Scottish–Irish mathematician and physicist best known for his work on thermodynamics, including that on the absolute temperature scale – the unit of absolute temperature, the kelvin, is named after him. Thomson acted a scientific adviser for the laying of the first Atlantic telegraph cables in 1857–58 and 1865–66, for which he received a knighthood from Queen Victoria.

He served as the president of the Royal Society over 1890–95, and was a winner of its Copley Medal and Royal Medal, the Royal Society of the Arts’ Albert Medal and the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Keith Medal. He was ennobled a Baron Kelvin of Largs in 1892.

Terms
The award shall be made for outstanding and sustained contributions to public engagement within physics. The medal will be gold and will be accompanied by a prize of £1000 and a certificate.

Marie Curie-Sklodowska Medal and Prize

History
In 2016 Council established the Marie Curie-Sklodowska Medal and Prize.

The physicist behind the medal
Marie Curie-Sklodowska’s achievements included the development of the theory of radioactivity. Curie-Sklodowska discovered two new chemical elements – radium and polonium. She carried out the first research into the treatment of tumours with radiation, and she was the founder of the Curie Institutes, which are important medical research centres. She is the only person to have won Nobel Prizes in both physics and chemistry.

Terms
The award shall be made for distinguished contributions to physics education and to widening participation within it. The medal will be silver and will be accompanied by a prize of £1,000 and a certificate.

Lise Meitner Medal and Prize

History
In 2016 Council established the Lise Meitner Medal and Prize.

The physicist behind the medal
Lise Meitner was an Austrian physicist who worked on radioactivity and nuclear physics. She was the first woman to become a full professor of physics in Germany. In 1944, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to her long-time collaborator Otto Hahn for work on nuclear fission. In the 1990s, the records of the committee that decided on that prize were opened. Several scientists and journalists have called her exclusion “unjust”, and Meitner has received a flurry of posthumous honours, including the naming of chemical element 109 as meitnerium in 1997.

Terms
The award shall be made for distinguished contributions to public engagement within physics. The medal will be silver and will be accompanied by a prize of £1,000 and a certificate.

Lise Meitner awards receipients

Submit a Nomination

 

Rutherford Plasma Physics Communication Prize

Sponsored by STFC Central Laser Facility.

The IOP Plasma Physics Group is proud to host the annual Rutherford Plasma Physics Communication Prize 2018. The award recognises those who exemplify excellence in outreach to the general public through the communication of plasma physics to those that are non-experts.

The prize is open to ALL members of the plasma physics community, whose application will be judged by a distinguished panel of scientists and communicators (to include one plasma physicist, one non-plasma physicist and one non-physicist).

This year's winner will be announced and the prize presented during the 2018 IOP Plasma Physics Conference (9th - 12th April, Queen's University Belfast). The winner will receive £500 and will be invited to present during the conference.

The application procedure requires evidence of excellent communication skills and discussion of the impact of the activity. Past applications have seen examples such as creating a website, giving a talk or lecture, writing an essay or an article in a magazine, blogging or producing a podcast or video. Anything that communicates our plasma science will be considered - the more creative the better!

Nominations and self-nominations are welcome.

For more information and an application form, please email ceri.brenner@stfc.ac.uk

Deadline for submissions: 12:00, 16 February 2018.

Previous recipients

2017
Dr Melanie Windridge, Business Development Manager for Tokamak Energy
For her popular science book, Aurora: in search of the northern lights, published by William Collins in 2016. The book contains a detailed introduction for the layperson to plasmas and specifically to aurora plasma formation, fusion and the physics of solar wind. The impact of the book has been boosted by articles featured in Wired magazine, VICE Motherboard, Sidetracked magazine, Sky at Night and Astronomy Now as well as over 30 public talks across the world.

2016
Kate Lancaster, University of York
For her Friday evening Discourse lecture at the Royal Institution.

2013
Rachel McAdams, Ben Moody, Lee Morgan, Mohammed Shahzad and Tom Williams, University of York.
For their short film aimed at children aged 9-11, which explains why scientists are trying to build a 'mini-sun' on earth. The film previously won the first prize at Durham Energy Futures Film.

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