Wolf Prize Recipients in Physics

(1978-2011)


Year
Recipient
1978
CHIEN-SHIUNG WU, Columbia University, N.Y., U.S.A., for exploring the weak interaction, helping establish the precise form and the non-conservation of parity for this natural force.
1979
GEORGE UHLENBECK, Rockefeller University, N.Y., U.S.A., for his discovery, jointly with the late S.A. Goudsmit, of the electron spin; and GIUSEPPE OCCHIALINI, University of Milan, Milan, Italy, for his contributions to the discoveries of electron pair production and of the charged pion.
1980
MICHAEL E. FISHER, Cornell University, Ithaca, U.S.A.; LEO P. KADANOFF, University of Chicago, Chicago, U.S.A., and KENNETH G. WILSON, Cornell University, Ithaca, U.S.A., for pathbreaking developments culminating in the general theory of the critical behavior at transitions between the different thermodynamic phases of matter.
1981
FREEMAN J. DYSON, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, U.S.A.;GERARD 't HOOFT, University of Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands; and VICTOR F. WEISSKOPF, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, U.S.A., for their outstanding contributions to theoretical physics, especially in the development and application of the quantum theory of fields.
1982
LEON M. LEDERMAN, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Batavia, U.S.A. and MARTIN M. PERL, Stanford Linear Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford, U.S.A., for their experimental discovery of unexpected new particles establishing a third generation of quarks and leptons.
1983/4
ERWIN L. HAHN, University of California, Berkeley, U.S.A., for his discovery of nuclear spin echoes and for the phenomenon of self-induced transparency; Sir PETER B. HIRSH, University of Oxford, Oxford, U.K., for his development of the utilization of the transmission electron microscope as a universal instrument to study the structure of crystalline matter; and THEODORE H. MAIMAN, Maiman Associates, Marina del Rey, U.S.A., for his realization of the first operating laser, the pulsed three level ruby laser.
1984/5
CONYERS HERRING, Stanford University, Stanford, U.S.A. and PHILIPPE NOZIERES, Institut Laue-Langevin, Grenoble, France, for their major contributions to the fundamental theory of solids, especially of the behaviour of electrons in metals.
1986
MITCHELL J. FEIGENBAUM, Cornell University, Ithaca, U.S.A., for his pioneering theoretical studies demonstrating the universal character of non-linear systems, which has made possible the systematic study of chaos; and ALBERT J. LIBCHABER, University of Chicago, Chicago, U.S.A., for his brilliant experimental demonstration of the transition to turbulence and chaos in dynamical systems.
1987
HERBERT FRIEDMAN, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Washington D.C., U.S.A., for pioneering investigations in solar X-rays; BRUNO B. ROSSI, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, U.S.A., and RICCARDO GIACCONI, Space Telescope Science Institute and Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, U.S.A., for the discovery of extra-solar X-ray sources and the elucidation of their physical processes.
1988
ROGER PENROSE, University of Oxford, Oxford, U.K., and STEPHEN W. HAWKING, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, U.K., for their brilliant development of the theory of general relativity, in which they have shown the necessity for cosmological singularities and have elucidated the physics of black holes. In this work they have greatly enlarged our understanding of the origin and possible fate of the Universe.
1990
PIERRE-GILLES de GENNES, College de France, Paris, France, and DAVID J. THOULESS, University of Washington, Seattle, U.S.A., for a wide variety of pioneering contributions to our understanding of the organization of complex condensed matter systems,de Gennes especially for his work on macromolecular matter and liquid crystals and Thouless for his on disordered and low-dimensional systems.
1991
MAURICE GOLDHABER, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, U.S.A., and VALENTINE L. TELEGDI, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, Switzerland, and California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA, for their separate seminal contributions to nuclear and particle physics, particularly those concerning the weak interactions involving leptons.
1992
JOSEPH H. TAYLOR, Jr., Princeton University, Princeton, U.S.A., for his discovery of an orbiting radio pulsar and its exploitation to verify the general theory of relativity to high precision.
1993
BENOIT B. MANDELBROT, IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, U.S.A., by recognizing the widespread occurrence of fractals and developing mathematical tools for describing them, he has changed our view of nature.
1994/5
VITALY L. GINZBURG, Lebedev Physical Institute, Moscow, Russia, for his contributions to the theory of superconductivity and to the theory of high-energy processes in astrophysics; and YOICHIRO NAMBU, University of Chicago, Chicago, U.S.A. for his contribution to elementary particle theory, including recognition of the role played by spontaneous symmetry-breaking in analogy with superconductivity theory, and the discovery of the color symmetry of the strong interactions.
1996/7
JOHN ARCHIBALD WHEELER, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, and University of Texas at Austin, USA., for his seminal contributions to black holes physics, to quantum gravity, and to the theories of nuclear scattering and nuclear fission.
1998
YAKIR AHARONOV, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel, and University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, U.S.A., and Sir MICHAEL V. BERRY, Bristol University, Bristol, United Kingdom, for the discovery of quantum topological and geometrical phases. specifically the Aharonov-Bohm effect, the Berry phase, and their incorporation into many fields of physics.
1999
DAN SHECHTMAN, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel, for the experimental discovery of quasi-crystals, non-periodic solids having long-range order, which inspired the exploration of a new fundamental state of matter.
2000
RAYMOND DAVIS Jr., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York, USA, and MASATOSHI KOSHIBA, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan, for their pioneering observations of astronomical phenomena by detection of neutrinos, thus creating the emerging field of neutrino astronomy.
2002/3
BERTRAND I. HALPERIN, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., USA; and ANTHONY J. LEGGETT, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, USA, for key insights into the broad range of condensed matter physics: Leggett on superfluidity of the light helium isotope and macroscopic quantum phenomena; and Halperin on two- dimensional melting, disordered systems and strongly interacting electrons.
2004
ROBERT BROUT, FRANCOIS ENGLERT, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium; and PETER W. HIGGS, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom, for pioneering work that has led to the insight of mass generation, whenever a local gauge symmetry is realized asymmetrically in the world of sub-atomic particles.
2005
DANIEL KLEPPNER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, for groundbreaking work in atomic physics of hydrogenic systems, including research on the hydrogen maser, Rydberg atoms and Bose-Einstein condensation.
2006/7
ALBERT FERT, Unité Mixte de Physique CNRS-Thalès, Orsay, France, and PETER GRUENBERG, Institut fuer Festkoerperforschung (IFF), Forschungszentrum Juelich, Juelich, Germany, for their independent discovery of the giant magnetoresistance phenomenon (GMR), thereby launching a new field of research and applications known as spintronics, which utilizes the spin of the electron to store and transport information.
2010
JOHN F. CLAUSER, J.F. Clauser & Assoc., Walnut Creek, CA, USA; ALAIN ASPECT, Institut d’Optique, Palaiseau, France; and ANTON ZEILINGER, University of Vienna & Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna, Austria; for their fundamental conceptual and experimental contributions to the foundations of quantum physics, specifically an increasingly sophisticated series of tests of Bell’s inequalities or extensions there of using entangled quantum states.
2011
MAXIMILIAN HAIDER, CEOS GmbH and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany; Prof. HARALD ROSE, Carl Zeiss Senior Professor, Ulm University, Ulm, Germany; and KNUT URBAN, Research Centre Jülich, Jülich, Germany, RWTH Aachen, Aachen, Germany; for their development of aberration-corrected electron microscopy, allowing the observation of individual atoms with picometer precision, thus revolutionizing materials science.

Source: The Wolf Foundation