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Rumford Medal

Single-molecule strong coupling in a gold nanocavity. Credit Yi Ju/University of Cambridge NanoPhotonics

The award

The Rumford Medal is awarded biennially (in even years) for outstanding research in the field of physics.

The award was established following a donation by Benjamin Thompson FRS (PDF), Count Rumford of the Holy Roman Empire, an American-born former soldier, spy, statesman and scientist who would go on to found the Royal Institution. The first award was made in 1800.

The next call for nominations opens in November 2017.

Rumford Medallists 2016

Professor Ortwin Hess

The Rumford Medal 2016 is awarded to Professor Ortwin Hess for his pioneering work in active nano-plasmonics and optical metamaterials with quantum gain.

Professor Hess will be awarded a medal of silver gilt, accompanied by a gift of £2,000 at the Royal Society's Anniversary Day in November 2016. 

Past winners

Professor Jeremy Baumberg FRS was awarded the Rumford Medal in 2014 for his outstanding creativity in nanophotonics, investigating many ingenious nanostructures, both artificial and natural to support novel plasmonic phenomena relevant to Raman spectroscopy, solar cell performance and meta-materials applications.

Roy Taylor was awarded the Rumford Medal in 2012 for his outstanding contributions to tunable ultrafast lasers and nonlinear fibre optics, including fibre Raman, soliton and supercontinuum laser sources, which translated fundamental discoveries to practical technology.

See full list of all past winners of the Rumford Medal.