The Institute of Physics has announced its award winners for 2017, honouring 21 physicists for outstanding contribution to physics in academia, industry, education and outreach. The highest accolade, the Isaac Newton Medal and Prize, has been awarded to Charles Bennett from Johns Hopkins University in the US.
Bennett led the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) mission – a satellite experiment measuring temperature fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background. The mission allowed scientists to make many breakthroughs in the field of cosmology, including the first fine-resolution (0.2 degree) full-sky map of the microwave sky, helping to determine the age of the universe to within half a per cent and providing evidence of dark matter and dark energy.
“I am sincerely honoured to receive the Isaac Newton Medal and Prize,” says Bennett. “It is humbling to be selected, especially as the previous awardees are all of great distinction.”
Alongside Bennett, six physicists have been awarded Gold Medals. Michael Duff (Imperial College London) received the Paul Dirac Medal, the Michael Faraday Medal went to Jeremy Baumberg (University of Cambridge), David Charlton (University of Birmingham) won the Richard Glazebrook Medal, Cliff Jones (University of Leeds) received the Katherine Burr Blodgett Medal, Mary Whitehouse (University of York) won the Lawrence Bragg Medal, and the William Thomson, Lord Kelvin Medal was awarded to Wendy Sadler (Cardiff University).
The Institute’s Subject Awards and Early Career Awards have also been announced, and a full list the 2017 winners can be found online.