Dirac Medal for Chris Isham

Chris Isham has been awarded this years Dirac Medal of the Institute of Physics for his work on quantum gravity. For information about his many contributions to the field you can just look at the IOP page about the award.

In addition to the Dirac Medal the IOP has just announced a whole slew of other medals named after British Physicists. The Newton Medal this year goes to Leo Kadanoff who noticed the important role of scale invariance and universality in critical systems. The Faraday Medal is taken by Alan Watson for leadership of the Pierre Auger Observatory that studies ultra high energy cosmic rays. The Chadwick Medal is won by Terry Wyatt for work on Hadron Colliders. Another Imperial College prof being honoured is Arkady Tseytlin for string theory research who got the Rayleigh Medal.

There are a load more which you can read about here. Congratulations to them all.

6 Responses to Dirac Medal for Chris Isham

  1. Kea says:

    A Dirac medal for topos theory in gravity? Gee, string theory really IS unpopular.

  2. Guest says:

    @ Kea: 😛 😛 😛 …

    Sorry, but Kea provokes me to do this “childish” comment; cant resist LOL …

  3. Luboš Motl says:

    Has someone actually read and understood e.g. this most cited paper by him?


    This seems to have nothing to do with topos theory. He uses topos theory to discuss some things about the foundations of quantum mechanics which may be found except I don’t believe that there are any open questions.

    I’ve seen topos theory in the context of QG mentioned in Brian Greene’s The Hidden Reality – it took me some decisions how to translate it. It’s some category theory or a subset of it relevant for geometry and topology which surely sounds exciting except that I can’t imagine that he has found something that makes sense for quantum gravity and others wouldn’t have spread it yet.

    As you can see, I am totally confused whether the topos theory has actually been claimed to be relevant for QG or not – whatever the answer is, my guess is that the actual relevance when all hype is removed is zero so far.

  4. Kea says:

    Well, citation rates are hardly a measure of physical value, are they? I mean, if string theory is anything to go by.

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