Skip to content


Fellows Directory

John Pendry

John Pendry

Sir John Pendry FRS


Elected: 1984


John Pendry is a theoretical physicist who has made significant contributions to our understanding of the way in which light interacts with matter. By modelling substances with unusual optical properties often known as metamaterials, he has developed an ‘invisibility cloak’ able to hide objects from electromagnetic radiation.

John’s pioneering work in optics has also led to the experimental realisation of the world’s first perfect lens, capable of overcoming traditional limitations on image resolution. Recognised for his ability to represent complex physical situations via realistic mathematical models, the impact of his contribution can today be seen in a variety of fields where wave propagation is of interest — ranging from seismology to nanoscale engineering.

The breadth and impact of John’s work has won him many of the most important awards in his field, including the Dirac Medal and the Royal Medal of the Royal Society. In 2004 he was made a Knight Bachelor for his services to science.

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Mathematics
    • Applied mathematics and theoretical physics


  • Bakerian Medal and Lecture

    On 'Negative refraction, the perfect lens and metamaterials'.

  • Kavli Prize

    In the field of nanoscience for transformative contributions to the field of nano-optics that have broken long-held beliefs about the limitations of the resolution limits of optical microscopy and imaging.

  • Royal Medals

    For his seminal contributions in surface sciences, disordered systems, photonics and most recently in metamaterials and the concept of the perfect lens.

Was this page useful?
Thank you for your feedback
Thank you for your feedback. Please help us improve this page by taking our short survey.