The medal was first given to J.J. Thomson in 1902 "for his numerous contributions to electric science, especially in reference to the phenomena of electric discharge in gases". It has been awarded over a hundred times. At first it was awarded annually, now it is every two years.
Unlike some other Royal Society medals, the Hughes Medal has never been awarded to the same person more than once. Only one woman has won it: Michele Dougherty in 2008, who was awarded the medal "for innovative use of magnetic field data that led to discovery of an atmosphere around one of Saturn's moons and the way it revolutionised our view of the role of planetary moons in the Solar System".
The medal has been awarded to more than one person at once; in 1938 it was won by John Cockcroft and Ernest Walton "for their discovery that nuclei could be disintegrated by artificially produced bombarding particles", in 1981 by Peter Higgs, Thomas Walter and Tom W. B. Kibble "for their international contributions about the spontaneous breaking of fundamental symmetries in elementary-particle theory", in 1982 by Drummond Matthews and Frederick Vine for explaining the magnetic properties of the ocean floors which then led to the plate tectonic hypothesis, and in 1988 by Archibald Howie and M.J. Whelan for their work on the theory of electron diffraction and microscopy, and its use in the study of lattice defects in crystals.
List of recipientsEdit
|Year||Name||Reason for winning||Notes|
|1902||Joseph John Thomson||for his many contributions to electric science, especially electric discharge in gases|||
|1903||Johann Wilhelm Hittorf||for his experiments on electric discharge in liquids and gases|||
|1904||Joseph Swan||for his invention of the incandescent lamp, and his other inventions and improvements in the practical uses of electricity|||
|1905||Augusto Righi||for his research in electrical science, including electric vibrations|||
|1906||Hertha Ayrton||for her experiments on the electric arc, and also on sand ripples|||
|1907||Ernest Howard Griffiths||for his work on exact physical measurement|||
|1908||Eugen Goldstein||for his discoveries about electric discharge in rarefied gases|||
|1909||Richard Glazebrook||for his research on electrical standards|||
|1910||John Ambrose Fleming||for his research in electricity and electrical measurements|||
|1911||Charles Wilson||"for his work on nuclei in dust-free air, and his work on ions in gases and atmospheric electricity"|||
|1912||William Duddell||for his work in technical electricity|||
|1913||Alexander Graham Bell||for his part in the invention of the telephone, and especially the construction of the telephone receiver|||
|1914||John Sealy Townsend||for his research on electric induction in gases|||
|1915||Paul Langevin||for his work on electrical science|||
|1916||Elihu Thomson||for his research in experimental electricity|||
|1917||Charles Barkla||for his research on X-ray radiation|||
|1918||Irving Langmuir||for his research in molecular physics|||
|1919||Charles Chree||"for his researches in terrestrial magnetism"|||
|1920||Owen Richardson||for his work in experimental physics, and thermionics|||
|1921||Niels Bohr||"for his research in theoretical physics"|||
|1922||Francis William Aston||"for his discovery of isotopes of a large number of the elements by using positive rays"|||
|1923||Robert Millikan||for his work on the electronic charge and of other physical constants|||
|1925||Frank Edward Smith||for his work on fundamental electrical units and for research in technical electricity|||
|1926||Henry Jackson||for his pioneer work in the scientific investigations of radiotelegraphy and its use for navigation|||
|1927||William Coolidge||"for his work on the X-rays and the development of highly efficient apparatus for their production"|||
|1928||Maurice de Broglie||"for his work on X-ray spectra"|||
|1929||Hans Geiger||"for his invention and development of methods of counting alpha and beta particles"|||
|1930||Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman||"for his studies on the abnormal scattering of light"|||
|1931||William Lawrence Bragg||for his pioneer work on explaining crystal structure by using X-ray analysis|||
|1932||James Chadwick||for his research on radioactivity|||
|1933||Edward Victor Appleton||for his research into the effect of the Heaviside layer upon sending wireless signals|||
|1934||Manne Siegbahn||"for his work as a physicist and technician on long-wave X-rays"|||
|1935||Clinton Davisson||"for his research that resulted in the discovery of the physical existence of electron waves through long-continued investigations on the reflection of electrons from the crystal planes of nickel and other metals"|||
|1936||Walter H. Schottky||"for his discovery of the Schrot Effect in thermionic emission and his invention of the screen-grid tetrode and a superheterodyne method of receiving wireless signals"|||
|1937||Ernest Lawrence||for his work on the development of the cyclotron and its use to study nuclear disintegration|||
|1938||John Cockcroft and Ernest Walton||for their discovery that nuclei could be disintegrated by artificially produced bombarding particles|||
|1939||George Paget Thomson||for his important discoveries about the diffraction of electrons by matter|||
|1940||Arthur Compton||"for his discovery of the Compton Effect; and for his work on cosmic rays"|||
|1941||Nevill Mott||for his use of quantum theory in physics, especially nuclear and collision theory, the theory of metals and in the theory of photographic emulsions|||
|1942||Enrico Fermi||for his work on the electrical structure of matter, quantum theory, and his experimental studies of the neutron||—|
|1943||Marcus Oliphant||for his work in nuclear physics and mastery of methods of generating and applying high potentials|||
|1944||George Finch||for his fundamental study of the structure and properties of surfaces, and for his work on the electrical ignition of gases|||
|1945||Basil Schonland||for his work on atmospheric electricity and of other physical researches|||
|1946||John Randall||for his research into fluorescent materials and into the production of high frequency electro-magnetic radiation||—|
|1947||Frédéric Joliot-Curie||for his work in nuclear physics, particularly the discovery of artificial radioactivity and of neutron emission in the fission process|||
|1948||Robert Watson-Watt||for his work on atmospheric physics and to the development of radar|
|1949||Cecil Powell||for his work on the photography of particle tracks, and the discovery of mesons and their transformation|||
|1950||Max Born||for his contributions to theoretical physics in general and to the development of quantum mechanics|||
|1951||Hendrik Kramers||for his work on the quantum theory, and its use in the study of optical and magnetic properties of matter||—|
|1952||Philip Dee||for his work on the disintegration of atomic nuclei, particularly those using the Wilson cloud chamber technique||—|
|1953||Edward Bullard||for his work, both theoretical and experimental, of the physics of the Earth|||
|1954||Martin Ryle||for his experiments in radio astronomy|||
|1955||Harrie Massey||for his work on atomic and molecular physics, especially collisions involving the production and recombination of ions||—|
|1956||Frederick Lindemann||for his work in many fields: the meting point formula and theory of specific heats; ionisation of stars; meteors and temperature inversion in the stratosphere|||
|1957||Joseph Proudman||for his work on dynamical oceanography|||
|1958||Edward da Costa Andrade||for his work in many branches of classical physics||—|
|1959||Brian Pippard||for his work in the field of low temperature physics||—|
|1960||Joseph Pawsey||for his work on radio astronomy both in the study of solar and of cosmic ray emission||—|
|1961||Alan Cottrell||for his work on the physical properties of metals, particularly mechanical deformation and the effects of irradiation|||
|1962||Brebis Bleaney||for his study of electrical and magnetic phenomena and their link with atomic and molecular properties|||
|1963||Frederic Williams||for work on early computers||—|
|1964||Abdus Salam||for his work on quantum mechanics and the theory of fundamental particles|||
|1965||Denys Wilkinson||for his experiments and study of nuclear structure and high energy physics||—|
|1966||Nicholas Kemmer||for his many important discoveries in theoretical nuclear physics|||
|1967||Kurt Mendelssohn||for his work on cryophysics, and his discoveries in superconductivity and superfluidity|||
|1968||Freeman Dyson||for his work in theoretical physics, and quantum electrodynamics|||
|1969||Nicholas Kurti||for his work in low-temperature physics and thermodynamics"|||
|1970||David Bates||for his work on theoretical atomic and molecular physics and its use in studying atmospheric physics, plasma physics and astrophysics|||
|1971||Robert Hanbury Brown||for his work in developing a new form of stellar interfrometer, and in his observations of alpha virginis|||
|1972||Brian David Josephson||for his discovery of the remarkable properties of junctions between superconducting materials|||
|1973||Peter Hirsch||for his work on the development of the electron microscope thin film technique for the study of crystal defects and its use in a wide range of problems in materials science and metallurgy|||
|1974||Peter Fowler||for his work on cosmic ray and elementary particle physics|||
|1975||Richard Dalitz||for his work on the development of the electron microscope thin film technique for the study of crystal defects and its use to study problems in materials science and metallurgy|||
|1976||Stephen Hawking||for his work on using general relativity to study astrophysics, and the behaviour of highly condensed matter|||
|1977||Antony Hewish||for his work in radio astronomy, including the discovery and identification of pulsars|||
|1978||William Cochran||for his pioneering work in X-ray crystallography, and for his original work in lattice dynamics and its relation to phase transitions|||
|1979||Robert Joseph Paton Williams||for his studies of the conformations of computer molecules in solution by the use of nuclear magnetic resonance|||
|1980||Francis Farley||for his ultra-precise measurements of the muon magnetic moment, a severe test of quantum electrodynamics and of the nature of the muon"||—|
|1981||Peter Higgs, Thomas Walter and Bannerman Kibble||for their work on the spontaneous breaking of fundamental symmetries in elementary-particle theory|||
|1982||Drummond Matthews and Frederick Vine||for their explanation of the magnetic properties of the ocean floors which led to the plate tectonic hypothesis|||
|1983||John Ward||for his important and original work on quantum field theory, the Ward identity and the Salam-Ward theory of weak interactions|||
|1984||Roy Kerr||for his work on relativity, and his important discovery of the so-called Kerr Black Hole|||
|1985||Tony Skyrme||for his work on theoretical particle and nuclear physics, and his discovery that particle-like entities simulating the properties of baryons can occur in non-linear meson field theories||—|
|1986||Michael Woolfson||"for the creation of algorithms including MULTAN and SAYTAN which are used world-wide to solve the majority of reported crystal structures"||—|
|1987||Michael Pepper||for his many important experiments into the fundamental properties of semiconductors in low-dimensional systems, where he has explained some of their unusual properties like electron localization and the Quantum Hall effects||—|
|1988||Archibald Howie and M.J. Whelan||for their work on the theory of electron diffraction and microscopy, and its use to study lattice defects in crystals||—|
|1989||John Stewart Bell||for his work on our understanding of the structure and interpretation of quantum theory, showing the unique nature of its predictions|||
|1990||Thomas George Cowling||for his work on theoretical astrophysics including original theoretical studies of the role of electromagnetic induction in cosmic systems|||
|1991||Philip Moon||for his work in three main areas of science — nuclear physics, the discovery of gamma-ray resonances, and the use of colliding molecular beams to study chemical reactions|||
|1992||Michael Seaton||for his theoretical research in atomic physics and leadership of the Opacity Project|||
|1993||George Isaak||"for his pioneering use of resonant scattering techniques to make extremely precise measures of Doppler velocity shifts in the solar photosphere"|||
|1994||Robert G. Chambers||for his work on solid-state physics, and his ingenious and technically demanding experiment which proved the Ahoronov-Bohm effect on the behaviour of charged particles in magnetic fields||—|
|1995||David Shoenberg||for his work on the electronic structure of solids, using low temperature techniques, and the De Haas Van Alphen effect, defining the Fermi surface of many metals||—|
|1996||Amyand Buckingham||for his work in chemical physics on long-range intermolecular forces, non-linear optics, problems related to the polarizability of the helium atom, the interpretation of NMR spectra, and the uses of ab initio computations|||
|1997||Andrew Lang||for his work on X-ray diffraction physics and for his developing techniques of X-ray topography to study defects in crystal structures|||
|1998||Raymond Hide||for his experiments and study of the hydrodynamics of rotating fluids, and the use of this study in understanding of motions in the atmosphere and interiors of the major planets|||
|1999||Alexander Boksenberg||for his landmark discoveries on the nature of active galactic nuclei, the physics of the intergalactic medium and of the interstellar gas in primordial galaxies. He is noted also for his work on the development of astronomical instrumentation including the Image Photon Counting System, a revolutionary electronic area detector for the detection of faint sources, which inspired optical astronomy in the United Kingdom|||
|2000||Chintamani Rao||for his work on materials chemistry in the study of the electronic and magnetic properties of transition metal oxides and high temperature superconductors. His work has been an inspiration to a generation of Indian scientists|||
|2001||John Pethica||for his work on nanometre and atomic scale mechanics. He invented and developed the technique of nanoindentation thereby revolutionising the mechanical characterisation of ultra-small volumes of materials. This has been important for industries using thin film and coating technologies|||
|2002||Alexander Dalgarno||for his work on the theory of atomic and molecular process, and how it can be used in astrophysics. His studies of energy depositions provide the key to understanding emissions from terrestrial aurorae, planetary atmospheres and comets||—|
|2003||Peter Edwards||for his work as a solid state chemist. He has made original contributions in superconductivity and the behaviour of metal nanoparticles, and has greatly advanced our understanding of the phenomenology of the metal-insulator transition|||
|2004||John Clarke||for his research, leading the world in the invention, building and development of innovative new Superconducting QUantum Interference Devices (SQUID), in their theory and use in many fundamental problems and their investigative tools||—|
|2005||Keith Moffatt||for his work on the understanding of magnetohydrodynamics and the mechanisms determining how magnetic fields can develop from a low background level to substantial amplitude|||
|2006||Michael Kelly||for his work in the fundamental physics of electron transport and the creation of practical electronic devices which can be deployed in advanced systems||—|
|2007||Artur Ekert||"for his pioneering work on quantum cryptography and his many important contributions to the theory of quantum computation and other branches of quantum physics"|||
|2008||Michele Dougherty||for innovative use of magnetic field data that led to discovery of an atmosphere around one of Saturn's moons and the way it changed our view of the role of planetary moons in the Solar System||—|
|2010||Andre Geim||"for his revolutionary discovery of graphene, and elucidation of its remarkable properties"|
|2011||Matthew Rosseinsky||"for his influential discoveries in the synthetic chemistry of solid state electronic materials and novel microporous structures"|
|2013||Henning Sirringhaus||"for his pioneering development of inkjet printing processes for organic semiconductor devices, and dramatic improvement of their functioning and efficiency"|
|2015||George Efstathiou||"for many outstanding contributions to our understanding of the early Universe"|
|2017||Peter Bruce||"for distinguished work elucidating the fundamental chemistry underpinning energy storage"|
|2018||James Durrant||"for his distinguished photochemical studies for the design solar energy devices"|
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