Donnelly, who is based at the University of Oregon in the US, is recognised for his studies of fluid dynamics at low temperatures, and in particular his investigations of turbulence in superfluid helium – an unusual liquid phase of helium that exists below 2 kelvin.

Goldman, of the University of Minnesota in the US, receives the award for his contribution to the physics of superconductors. He discovered so-called gapless collective modes, and studied transitions from superconducting to insulating states in thin films.

Hardy, who works at the University of British Columbia in Canada, is rewarded for his research into atomic and solid hydrogen, and his studies of electron pairing mechanisms in the high-temperature superconductor YBCO.

The London prize recognizes outstanding experimental and theoretical contributions to low-temperature physics. It is supported partly by a bequest from Nobel Prize winner John Bardeen, who helped devise the BCS theory of high-temperature superconductivity.