The Dirac Medal and Lecture (University of New South Wales)
The first-established prize is the Dirac Medal for the Advancement of Theoretical Physics, awarded by the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, jointly with the Australian Institute of Physics on the occasion of the public Dirac Lecture. The Lecture and the Medal commemorate the visit to the university in 1975 of Professor Dirac, who gave five lectures there. The lectures were subsequently published as a book Directions of Physics (Wiley, 1978 - H. Hora and J. Shepanski, eds.). Professor Dirac donated the royalties from this book to the University for the establishment of the Dirac Lecture series. The prize includes a silver medal and honorarium. It was first awarded in 1979.
An international committee of distinguished scientists selects the winners from a list of nominated candidates. The Committee invites nominations from scientists working in the fields of theoretical physics or mathematics.
The Dirac Medal is a gold medal awarded annually by the Institute of Physics (Britain's and Ireland's main professional body for physicists) for "outstanding contributions to theoretical (including mathematical and computational) physics". The award, which includes a £1000 prize, was decided upon by the Institute of Physics in 1985, and first granted in 1987.
2005 John Ellis (CERN) For his highly influential work on particle physics phenomenology; in particular on the properties of gluons, the Higgs boson and the top quark.
2006 Mike Gillan [de] (University College London) For his contributions to the development of atomic-scale computer simulations, which have greatly extended their power and effectiveness across an immense range of applications.
2008 Bryan Webber (University of Cambridge) For his pioneering work in understanding and applying quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of the strong interaction which is one of the three fundamental forces of Nature.
2012 Graham Garland Ross (University of Oxford) For his theoretical work in developing both the Standard Model of fundamental particles and forces and theories beyond the Standard Model that have led to many new insights into the origins and nature of the universe.
2015 John Barrow (University of Cambridge) For his combination of mathematical and physical reasoning to increase our understanding of the evolution of the universe, and his use of cosmology to increase our understanding of fundamental physics.
2017 Michael Duff (Imperial College London and Oxford University) For sustained groundbreaking contributions to theoretical physics including the discovery of Weyl anomalies, for having pioneered Kaluza-Klein supergravity, and for recognising that superstrings in 10 dimensions are merely a special case of membranes in an 11-dimensional M-theory.
2018 John Chalker [de], University of Oxford for "his pioneering, deep, and distinctive contributions to condensed-matter theory, particularly in the quantum Hall effect, and to geometrically frustrated magnets."
2019 Richard Keith Ellis, University of Durham for "his seminal work in quantum chromodynamics (QCD) where he performed many of the key calculations that led to the acceptance of QCD as the correct theory of the strong interaction."
2020 Carlos Frenk, University of Durham for "outstanding contributions to establishing the current standard model for the formation of all cosmic structure, and for leading computational cosmology within the UK for more than three decades."