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Rumford Medal

Distribution of dark matter over a very large region of the universe - 3.3 billion light years across (Image courtesy of Willem Elbers)

Rumford medallist 2021

Rumford-Carlos-FrenkProfessor Carlos Frenk CBE FRS

The Rumford Medal 2021 is awarded to Professor Carlos Frenk CBE FRS for revealing via elaborate computer simulations, how small fluctuations in the early universe develop into today’s galaxies.

Professor Frenk's achievement will be celebrated at Anniversary Day on 30 November 2021. The prize is given with a medal and gift of £2,000.  

Return to this year's Royal Society medal, award and prize winners.

The award

The Rumford Medal is awarded for outstanding research in the field of the 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 medal is of silver gilt, is awarded annually and is accompanied by a gift of £2,000.


The call for nominations is now closed. The next round of nominations opens in November 2021. 

Past winners

Professor Patrick Gill MBE FRS was awarded the Rumford Medal 2020 for his development of optical atomic clocks of exquisite precision, of ultra-stable lasers and of frequency standards for fundamental physics, quantum information processing, space science, satellite navigation and Earth observation.

Professor Miles Padgett FRS was awarded the Rumford Medal 2019 for world leading research on optical orbital momentum including an angular form of the Einstein-Padolsky-Rosen paradox.

Professor Ian Walmsley FRS was awarded the Rumford Medal in 2018 for pioneering work in the quantum control of light and matter on ultrashort timescales, especially the invention and application of new techniques for characterization of quantum and classical light fields. 

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

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