Awards and Honours

Graphene collects the Nobel prize


Nobel Prize winners Andre Geim (left) and Konstantin Novoselov (right). © Sergeom, Wikimedia Commons, and University of Manchester, UK.

The Nobel Prize in Physics for 2010 has been awarded to Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, both from the University of Manchester, for their “groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene”. Graphene has exceptional properties that have made it a micro-laboratory for quantum physics. Not only is graphene the thinnest material ever made, it is also the strongest, as well as being an excellent conductor and almost completely transparent.

At a time when many researchers believed that it was impossible for such thin materials to be stable, Geim and Novoselov extracted graphene from a piece of graphite using only normal adhesive tape. Novoselov, 36, first worked with Andre Geim, 51, as a PhD student in the Netherlands. He subsequently followed Geim to the UK. Both originally studied and began their careers in Russia and are now professors at Manchester.

CERN Courier

Prof. Jens Jørgen Gaardhøje (Chair of the Medal Selection Committee and President of the Science Committee of the Danish National Commission for UNESCO and a member of the ALICE collaboration at CERN) with Prof. Sir Tim Berners-Lee (now W3C, MIT; Boston, formerly CERN), Prof. Sir John Pendry (Imperial College, London), Deputy Director-General of UNESCO, Mr. Getachew Engida, and Prof. Kip S. Thorne (Caltech, Pasadena), at the UNESCO Awards Ceremony.  © Hasse Ferrold

Berners-Lee receives UNESCO-Niels Bohr gold medal

At a ceremony held at the Royal Danish Academy of Science and Letters in Copenhagen on 14 September, three leading researchers received the UNESCO-Niels Bohr Gold Medal for their outstanding contributions to research in physics which have or could have a significant influence on the world. The medal, which UNESCO created in 1985 to commemorate the centenary of Niels Bohr’s birth, was previously awarded in 1998 and 2005. The 2010 laureates are Sir Tim Berners-Lee from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sir John Pendry from Imperial College London and Kip Thorne from the California Institute of Technology.

Berners-Lee is honoured “for the development of hypertext, the World Wide Web and their far-reaching consequences for global communication and exchange of information”; Pendry “for pioneering contributions to the development of metamaterials, i.e. materials with remarkable and new optical properties” and Thorne “for groundbreaking contributions to the study of black holes and gravitational waves”.

CERN Courier

Paolo Giubellino is awarded the Medal of the Division of Particle and Fields in a special session of the 5th Workshop on High Energy Physics, celebrated from September the 27th to October the 1st in Mexico City.

ALICE’s Paolo Giubellino awarded Medal by Mexican Physical Society

Paolo Giubellino, the elected spokesman of ALICE, has been awarded the Medal of the Division of Particles and Fields by the Mexican Physical Society. As the first European to be awarded the medal, Paolo is recognized for his work in the development of high-energy physics in Mexico.

Paolo has played a significant role in developing collaboration between Europe and Latin American institutes. His support led to Mexico’s involvement in ALICE, particularly in the successful construction of the V0 detector and the Cosmic Ray detector.


Pierpaolo Mastrolia, winner of
the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award,
and former CERN fellow.
© Humboldt Foundation

CERN theorist wins Sofja Kovalevskaja Award

Pierpaolo Mastrolia, former CERN fellow, has won the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award, presented by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. These awards are given to young scientists, helping them develop research groups at German host institutes. Pierpaolo will be continuing his research at the Max Planck Institute of Physics, Munich.

CERN scientists listed in The Times “Most important people in British science”

Eureka!, the science magazine of The Times Newspaper, has named the 100 most important people in British science (link behind paywall). Chosen by a panel of experts, the list includes scientists from CERN. Congratulations to all of them!

by Katarina Anthony