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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

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