• About AAPT
  • Michael Berry Recipient of 2014 Richtmyer Memorial Lecture Award

Sir Michael Berry, 2014 Recipient of the Richtmyer Memorial Lecture

Sir Michael Berry Recognized as 2014 Recipient of the Richtmyer Memorial Lecture Award


College Park, Maryland, United States, September 30, 2013—The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) announced today that Professor Sir Michael Victory Berry, has been selected to receive the 2014 Richtmyer Memorial Lecture Award. Berry is recognized with the award for outstanding contributions to physics and effectively communicating those contributions to physics educators. The award will be presented at a Ceremonial Session of the AAPT Winter Meeting in Orlando, FL.

Sir Michael Berry is a world-renowned theoretical physicist, who is famous for his discovery of geometric phase effects ("Berry's phase") in quantum mechanics. His more than 450 scientific publications cover topics ranging from glaciers, to nonlinear dynamics, to optical diffraction, quantum chaos and caustics. He is also author of Principles of Cosmology and Gravitation. With a well-deserved reputation for polished, elegant and illuminating lectures, he has brought the excitement of contemporary theoretical physics to audiences around the world.

Regarding his selection for this award Berry said, “I am delighted to receive this unexpected honor from the AAPT, and humbled to be in the company of such distinguished previous recipients.”

Berry is Melville Wills Professor of Physics (Emeritus), University of Bristol. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from the University of Exeter and a PhD in theoretical physics from University of St Andrews. He holds ten honorary Doctorates and one honorary Professorship. His career has developed at the University of Bristol, first as a postdoctoral fellow, then Lecturer and then Reader before becoming Professor in 1979.  From 2006-2012 he was Editor of the journal, Proceedings of the Royal Society.

His recognition with the Maxwell Medal and Prize of the Institute of Physics in 1978 was followed by numerous other science and mathematics awards, including the ignobel prize in physics in 2000, sharing the prize with Andre Geim for their work on "The Physics of Flying Frogs."

Berry was elected to the Royal Society of London in 1982, was elected a Foreign Member of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA in 1995, and Knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1996.

Berry specializes in semiclassical physics (asymptotic physics, quantum chaos) applied to wave phenomena in quantum mechanics and other areas such as optics. He has given many prestigious lectures and has held visiting positions in Nigeria, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Israel, Mexico, and Belgium.

About the Award
The Richtmyer Memorial Lecture Award is given in memory of Floyd K. Richtmyer, distinguished physicist, teacher, and administrator. Professor Richtmyer was one of the founders of AAPT and served as its president. As a teacher, author, research worker, and dean, he was the guide for many young physicists who became leaders of American science and has had a wide influence on the development of physics in the United States. The award has been given since 1941 to a person who has made outstanding contributions to physics and effectively communicated those contributions to physics educators.

The previous recipients of the Richtmyer Award include Brian Greene, Kathryn Moler, Vera Rubin, Alex Filippenko, Arthur H. Compton, Enrico Fermi, Philip Morrison, and Steven Chu. The complete list of winners can be found at http://www.aapt.org/Programs/awards/richtmyer.cfm.

About AAPT
AAPT is the premier international organization for physics educators, physicists, and industrial scientists—with members worldwide. Dedicated to enhancing the understanding and appreciation of physics through teaching, AAPT provides awards, publications, and programs that encourage practical application of physics principles, support continuing professional development, and reward excellence in physics education. AAPT was founded in 1930 and is headquartered in the American Center for Physics in College Park, Maryland.

For more information contact Marilyn Gardner, Director of Communications, mgardner@aapt.org, (301) 209-3306, (301) 209-0845 (Fax), www.aapt.org.