The Institute of Physics (IOP) today, Tuesday 29 June 2010, announces this year's award winners with the Isaac Newton Medal, IOP's international medal, going to theoretical physicist Professor Edward Witten for outstanding, transformative contributions to physics.
As one of the most influential physicists of the past 30 years, he has had impact in areas ranging from the phenomenology of particle physics and cosmology to theoretical areas of string theory and quantum gravity.
Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, president of IOP, said of Professor Witten, "Professor Witten's originality, physical insight and mathematical power have revolutionised the subject. A most creative and productive theoretical physicist, he has had a tremendous impact in the areas of quantum field theory, general relativity and string theory.
"As the third ever winner of our Newton medal, following Anton Zeilinger and, last year, Alan Guth, we are delighted that Edward is coming over from the US to give the Newton Lecture and to receive his medal."
Professor Witten will be giving the Newton Lecture at the Institute of Physics on Friday 2 July.
This year's range of winners also includes pioneers of biological physics such as Professor Dame Athene Donald; architects of paradigm-shifting technologies like Professor Sir Michael Pepper; climate scientist Dr Myles Allen renowned for quantifying the role of uncertainty in predictions of future climate change, and media star Prof Brian Cox.
Jocelyn continued, "The range of winners shows how all-encompassing contemporary physics research is. From Professor Donald's studies into the structure of proteins to Dr Allen's climate models, just two examples of research that are helping us deal with some of the biggest issues our society faces - disease in an ageing population and climate change.
"Every one of our winners, as some of the world's very best physicists, has an incredible story to tell about the advances they are responsible for."