Wilson Sibbett awarded Rumford Medal

Dec. 1, 2000
LONDON, ENGLAND - Wilson Sibbett, internationally acclaimed ultrafast-laser pioneer, has been awarded the prestigious Rumford Medal by The Royal Society in recognition of his research into ultrafast-laser science and technology.
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LONDON, ENGLANDWilson Sibbett, internationally acclaimed ultrafast-laser pioneer, has been awarded the prestigious Rumford Medal by The Royal Society in recognition of his research into ultrafast-laser science and technology.

The St. Andrews, Scotland-based physicist was delighted with the honor. "The award of this Rumford Medal from the Royal Society is especially pleasing in that it gives both recognition and credit for the technology-related impact, to human welfare in particular, that can emerge from quite 'blue-sky' endeavors in scientific research," he said.

Sibbett is accustomed to the spotlight. In 1998, he received the Institute of Physics Boys Prize for excellence in experimental physics, and in the previous year he was awarded the Rank Prize Funds Optoelectronics Prize for the invention of Kerr lens modelocking techniques for solid-state lasers. In 1997, he was also made a Fellow of The Royal Society, becoming an "FRS."

Sibbett's career began at Queen's University, Belfast, where he received his bachelor of science degree in physics in 1970. He obtained a Ph.D. from Imperial College, London, three years later, and stayed on as a staff member of the Blackett Laboratory at Imperial College. In 1985, he transferred to the University of St. Andrews to take up the post of professor of natural philosophy. He is currently the director of research in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of St. Andrews.

The Rumford Medal dates back to 1800 and is awarded biennially in recognition of an outstanding recent discovery in science made by a scientist working in Europe. Rumford, a Fellow of the Royal Society, was primarily concerned that recognition be given to discoveries that promote the good of mankind. Many applications of ultrafast lasers, especially in medicine and telecommunications, fall into this category.

About the Author

Bridget Marx | Contributing Editor, UK

Bridget Marx was Contributing Editor, UK for Laser Focus World.

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