The Wigner Medal

The Wigner Medal was established in 1977/8 and was awarded for the first time at the Integrative Conference on Group Theory and Mathematical Physics (7th International Group Theory Colloquium 1978) to Eugene P. Wigner and Valentine Bargmann. The purpose of the Wigner Medal is to recognize outstanding contributions to the understanding of physics through group theory.

The Wigner Medal is administered by the Group Theory and Fundamental Physics Foundation, a publicly supported organization. Donations are tax deductible as provided in Section 170 of the Internal Revenue code.

Bylaws of the Wigner Medal (pdf format)

The Wigner Medal 2002

The Wigner Medal is awarded for "outstanding contributions to the understanding of physics through group theory." The awardee is chosen by an international selection committee whose members are elected by the Board of Trustees of the Foundation and by the Standing Committee of the International Group Theory Colloquium. The previous recipients of the Wigner Medal are:

1978 E. P. Wigner
1978 V. Bargmann
1980 I. M. Gel'fand
1982 L.Michel
1984 Y. Ne'eman
1986 F. Gürsey
1988 I.M. Singer
1990 F. Iachello
1992 J. Wess and Bruno Zumino
1996 V. Kac and R.V. Moody
1998 Marcos Moshinsky
2000 L. O'Raifeartaigh

The 2002 International Selection Committee consisted of A.I. Solomon (UK). Chairman; Members: J. P. Gazeau (France), R. Moody (Canada), S. Weinberg (USA) and A. Bohm (USA).

The International Selection Committee has awarded the 2002 Wigner Medal to:

Harry Jeannot Lipkin

For contributions to the algebraic method in nuclear and particle physics and its extension to describe the spectra of nuclei.

The Wigner Medal ceremony took place on July 17, 2002 at the "Salle des Fetes", Mairie du V-eme Arrondissement, Place du Pantheon, Paris. It was attended by about 500 participants and invited guests.

Laudatio read by Y. Neeman (pdf format)

Response to the Award by Lipkin (pdf format)

The 1978 Wigner Medal Ceremony

Eugene P. Wigner receiving the first Wigner Medal from Arno R. Bohm in 1978.

The 2002 Wigner Medal Ceremony

Harry J. Lipkin receiving the 2002 Wigner Medal in Paris.

Harry J. Lipkin carrying the box with the 2002 Wigner Medal

Members of the Board of the Group Theory Foundation and the Selection Committee:
A. Bohm, A.I. Solomon, R. Moody, J.P. Gazean, M. Moshinski

Y. Ne'eman delivering the Laudatio.

Morton Hamermesh (1915-2003)

Vice Chairman Morton Hamermesh passed away on November 14, 2003. He was one of the original founders of the Wigner Medal.

Morton Hamermesh was a leader in the applications of mathematics to physical problems. He obtained his bachelor's from City College and Ph.D. from NYU. He worked at Stanford, Harvard, Argonne National Lab, and at the University of Minnesota, serving as chairman of the Departments of Physics there and at SUNY-Stony Brook. He was among the first American scholors to teach in China, lecturing in the early 1980s. His monograph Group Theory and Its Applicatoins to Physical Problems has introduced generations of physicists to the group theoretical methods in physics.

There will be a memorial tribute for Morton Hamermesh at the 2004 Wigner Medal Ceremony at the 25th International Group Theory Colloquium on August 4, 2004 at 19:00 at Hacienda Cocoyoc, Mexico.