Bloch Prize

Bloch Prize

The Bloch Prize honors the eminent Swiss physicist who among many contributions to wave mechanics and theoretical physics formulated the underlying theory for electron wave propagation in periodic media. His theory, known as Bloch theory, laid the foundation for other theoretical developments ultimately leading to a formal classification of all crystals into metals, semiconductors and insulators. In recent decades, Bloch theory re-emerged as the basic underlying mathematical condition for formulating the band structure of modern periodic materials such as phononic and photonic crystals. Felix Bloch, who was born in Zurich, Switzerland, on October 23, 1905, pursued his research career in Zurich, Heisenberg, Stanford, Los Alamos, and Harvard University, and in 1954 took a leave of absence for one year to serve as the first Director General of CERN in Geneva. He received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1952 jointly with Edward Mills Purcell “for their development of new methods for nuclear magnetic precision measurements and discoveries in connection therewith”.

At Phononics 2011, the Bloch Prize (originally called the Felix Bloch Lecture) was inaugurated to “honor individuals who have made outstanding and sustained contributions in the field of phononics (including phononic crystals, acoustic/elastic metamaterials, nanoscale phonon transport, coupled phenomena involving phonons, topological phononics, and related areas) over periods representing considerable portions of their scientific careers”. The medal is awarded biennially by the International Phononics Society (IPS) at the time of the Phononics 20xx conference. The winner delivers the Bloch Lecture at the conference, and is also invited to write a 6-page Bloch Paper to be published alongside the conference proceedings.


Bloch Prize Recipients

2011: Sia Nemat-Nasser*

2013: Bahram Djafari-Rouhani 

2015: Tsung-Tsong Wu

2017: José Sánchez-Dehesa

2019: Andrew N. Norris

2021: Ping Sheng

2023: Pierre A. Deymier

*In 2011, the award was called the “Bloch Lecture".

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