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Recipients of the Rumford Prize

2015

For their contributions to the field of laser technology:

  • Federico Capasso, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
  • Alfred Cho, Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs

Read press release

2008

For their efforts to reduce the global threat of nuclear weapons:

  • Sidney D. Drell, Stanford University
  • Sam Nunn, Nuclear Threat Initiative
  • William J. Perry, Stanford University
  • George P. Shultz, Stanford University

Read press release

1996

  • John C. Mather, Greenbelt, Maryland, for contributions to understanding the cosmic microwave background.

1992

  • James R. Norris and Joseph J. Katz, Chicago, Illinois, in conjunction with George Feher of San Diego, California for contributions to understanding photosynthesis.

1986

  • Robert B. Leighton, Pasadena, California, for contributions to the development of infrared astronomy.
  • Frank J. Low, Tucson, Arizona, for contributions to the development of infrared astronomy.
  • Gerry Neugebauer, Pasadena, California, for contributions to the development of infrared astronomy.

1985

  • Hans Georg Dehmelt, Seattle, Washington, for contributions to atomic spectroscopy.
  • Martin Deutsch, Cambridge, Massachusetts, for contributions to atomic spectroscopy.
  • Vernon Willard Hughes, New Haven, Connecticut, for contributions to atomic spectroscopy.
  • Norman Foster Ramsey, Cambridge, Massachusetts, for contributions to atomic spectroscopy.

1980

  • Gregorio Weber, Urbana, Illinois, for his work on the theory and application of fluorescence.
  • Chen Ning Yang, Stony Brook, New York, for development of a generalized guage invariant field theory.
  • Robert Mills, Columbus, Ohio, for development of a generalized gauge invariant field theory.

1976

  • Bruno Rossi, Cambridge, Massachusetts, for his discoveries concerning the nature and origins of cosmic radiations.

1973

  • E. Bright Wilson, Cambridge, Massachusetts, for his early recognition of the importance of symmetry properties in polyatomic molecules and for his active and pioneering development of microwave spectroscopy.

1971

  • Three groups of scientists (see below) for their work in the field of long-baseline interferometry.

M.I.T. Group

John. A Ball
Alan H. Barrett
Bernard F. Burke
Joseph C. Carter
Patricia P. Crowther
James M. Moran, Jr.
Alan E. E. Rogers

Canadian Group

Norman W. Broten
R. M. Chisholm
John A. Galt
Herbert P. Gush
Thomas H. Legg
Jack L. Locke
Charles W. McLeish
Roger S. Richards
Jui Lin Yen

NRAO-Cornell Group

C. C. Bare
Barry G. Clark
Marshall H. Cohen
David L. Jauncey
Kenneth I. Kellermann

1968

  • Maarten Schmidt, Pasadena, California, for his discoveries in the spectra of quasi-stellar objects.

1967

  • Robert Henry Dicke, Princeton, New Jersey, for his contributions to microwave radiometry and to the understanding of atomic structure.
  • Cornelis B. Van Niel, Stanford, California, for his contributions to the understanding of photosynthesis.

1965

  • Samuel Cornette Collins, Cambridge, Massachusetts, for his invention of the Collins Helium Cryostat and his pioneer work in low-temperature research.
  • William David McElroy, Baltimore, Maryland, in recognition of his work on the molecular basis of bioluminescence.

1963

  • Hans Albrecht Bethe, Ithaca, New York, for his theoretical studies of energy production in stars.

1961

  • Charles Hard Townes, New York, New York, for his development of the laser.

1959

  • George Wald, Cambridge, Massachusetts, for his studies on the biochemical basis of vision.

1957

  • Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, Williams Bay, Wisconsin, for his work on the radiative transfer of energy in the interior of stars.

1955

  • James Franck, Chicago, Illinois, for his fundamental studies on photosynthesis.

1953

  • Enrico Fermi, Chicago, Illinois, for his studies of radiation theory and nuclear energy.
  • Willis E. Lamb, Jr., Stanford, California, for his studies of the atomic hydrogen spectrum.
  • Lars Onsager, New Haven, Connecticut, for his contribution to the thermodynamics of transport processes.

1951

  • Herbert E. Ives, Montclair, New Jersey, for his noteworthy contributions to optics.

1949

  • Ira Sprague Bowen, Pasadena, California, for his solution of the mystery of nebulium and for other outstanding work in spectroscopy.

1947

  • Edmund Newton Harvey, Princeton, New Jersey, for his fundamental investigations of the nature of bioluminescence.

1945

  • Edwin Herbert Land, Cambridge, Massachusetts, for his new applications in polarized light and photography.

1943

  • Charles Edward Mees, Rochester, New York, for his contributions to the science of photography.

1941

  • Vladimir Kosma Zworykin, Princeton, New Jersey, for his invention of the iconoscope and other television devices.

1939

  • George Russell Harrison, Belmont, Massachusetts, for his improvements in spectroscopic technique.

1937

  • William Weber Coblentz, Washington, DC, for his pioneering work in the technology and measurement of heat and light.

1933

  • Harlow Shapley, Cambridge, Massachusetts, for research on the luminosity of stars and galaxies.

1931

  • Karl Taylor Compton, Cambridge, Massachusetts, for research in thermionics and spectroscopy.

1930

  • John Stanley Plaskett, Victoria, British Columbia, for his stellar spectrographic research.

1928

  • Edward Leamington Nichols, Ithaca, New York, for his research in spectrophotometry.

1926

  • Arthur Holly Compton, Chicago, Illinois, for his research in Roentgen rays.

1925

  • Henry Norris Russell, Princeton, New Jersey, for his research in stellar radiation.

1920

  • Irving Langmuir, Schenectady, New York, for his research in thermionic and allied phenomena.

1918

  • Theodore Lyman, Cambridge, Massachusetts, for his research on light of very short wavelength.

1917

  • Percy Willliams Bridgeman, Cambridge, Massachusetts, for his thermodynamic research at extremely high pressures.

1915

  • Charles Greeley Abbot, Washington, DC, for his research on solar radiation.

1914

  • William David Coolidge, Schenectady, New York, for his invention of ductile tungsten and its application in the production of radiation.

1913

  • Joel Stebbins, Urbana, Illinois, for his development of the selenium photometer and its application to astronomical problems.

1912

  • Frederic Eugene Ives, Woodcliff-on-Hudson, New York, for his optical inventions, particularly in color photography and photoengraving.

1911

  • James Madison Crafts, Boston, Massachusetts, for his research in high-temperature thermometry and the exact determination of new fixed points on the thermometric scale.

1910

  • Charles Gordon Curtis, New York, New York, for his improvements in the utilization of heat as work in the steam turbine.

1909

  • Robert Williams Wood, Baltimore, Maryland, for his discoveries in light, and particularly for his research on the optical properties of sodium and other metallic vapors.

1907

  • Edward Goodrich Acheson, Niagara Falls, New York, for the application of heat in the electric furnace to the industrial production of carborundum, graphite, and other new and useful substances.

1904

  • Ernest Fox Nichols, New York, New York, for his research on radiation, particularly on the pressure due to radiation, the heat of the stars, and the infrared spectrum.

1902

  • George Ellery Hale, Chicago, Illinois, for his investigations in solar and stellar physics and in particular for the invention and perfection of the spectro-heliograph.

1901

  • Elihu Thomson, Lynn, Massachusetts, for his inventions in electric welding and lighting.

1900

  • Carl Barus, Providence, Rhode Island, for his research in heat.

1899

  • Charles Francis Brush, Cleveland, Ohio, for the practical development of electric arc-lighting.

1898

  • James Edward Keeler, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, for his application of the spectroscope to astronomical problems, and especially for his investigations of the proper motions of the nebulae and the physical constitution of the rings of the planet Saturn by the use of that instrument.

1895

  • Thomas Alva Edison, Orange, New Jersey, for his investigations in electric lighting.

1891

  • Edward Charles Pickering, Cambridge, Massachusetts, for his work on the photometry of the stars and upon stellar spectra.

1888

  • Albert Abraham Michelson, Cleveland, Ohio, for his determination of the velocity of light, for his research on the motion of the luminferous ether, and for his work on the absolute determination of the wavelengths of light.

1886

  • Samuel Pierpont Langley, Allegheny, Philadelphia, for his research in radiant energy.

1883

  • Henry Augustus Rowland, Baltimore, Maryland, for his research in light and heat.

1880

  • Josiah Willard Gibbs, New Haven, Connecticut, for his research in thermodynamics.

1875

  • John William Draper, New York, New York, for his research on radiant energy.

1873

  • Lewis Morris Rutherford, New York, New York, for his improvements in the processes and methods of astronomical photography.

1871

  • Joseph Harrison, Jr., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for his method of constructing safer steam boilers.

1869

  • George Henry Corliss, Providence, Rhode Island, for his improvement in the steam engine.

1866

  • Alvan Clark, Cambridge, Massachusetts, for his improvements in the manufacture of refracting telescopes, as exhibited in his method of local correction.

1865

  • Daniel Treadwell, Cambridge, Massachusetts, for improvements in the management of heat, embodied in his investigations and inventions relating to the construction of cannon of large caliber, and great strength and endurance.

1862

  • John Ericsson, New York, New York, for his improvements in the management of heat, particularly as shown in his caloric engine of 1858.

1839

  • Robert Hare, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for his invention of the "compound" or "oxyhydrogen" blowpipe.

Academy Prizes

The Academy awards nine prizes that recognize excellence in the sciences and the humanities and a commitment to the ideals of the Academy.