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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 for outstanding researcher 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 medal is now awarded annually, is silver gilt and is accompanied by a gift of £2,000. 


The call for nominations is now closed. The next round of nominations will open in November 2018.

Past winners

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

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.

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