Edison Volta Prize for Prof James Hough

Issued: Mon, 30 Apr 2018 15:10:00 BST

‌Professor James Hough of the School of Physics and Astronomy has received another prestigious award for his pioneering contributions to gravitational wave research.

The European Physical Society (EPS) has announced that Prof Hough will share the 2018 European Physical Society Edison Volta Prize with European colleagues Alain Brillet of the Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur in France; Karsten Danzmann of the Max-Planck-Institut für Gravitationsphysik in Germany; and the late Adalberto Giazotto of the INFN in Italy.

The Edison Volta Prize is presented every two years in recognition of excellent research and achievement in physics. The prize consists of a cash award of €10,000 along with a diploma and a medal.

The citation for Prof Hough and colleagues’ award explains it is being presented ‘for the development, in their respective countries, of key technologies and innovative experimental solutions, that enabled the advanced interferometric gravitational wave detectors LIGO and Virgo to detect the first gravitational wave signals from Black Holes and Neutron Stars.’

Professor Hough, emeritus holder of the Kelvin Chair of Natural Philosophy, said: “This is a tremendous honour which I’m very proud to share with my European friends and colleagues, all of whom I have worked with for many years.

“Our work on gravitational waves is far from over, of course; gravitational wave astronomy is only just getting started and I’m very much looking forward to the new discoveries which await us.”

The award is the latest in a string of high-profile accolades for Prof Hough presented in the wake of the historic first detection of gravitational waves, including a Gold Medal from the Royal Astronomical Society and a Royal medal from the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Professor James Hough with gravitational waves machinery 650 x 300