In 2008, the Institute of Physics decided to establish the Isaac Newton Medal and Prize to recognise international physicists.
The physicist behind the medal
Sir Isaac Newton was an iconic English physicist and mathematician most famous for having discovered the universal law of gravitation and who founded the field of classical mechanics, developed infinitesimal calculus, and made groundbreaking contributions to optics.
Professor Paul Corkum of University of Ottawa and National Research Council of Canada for his outstanding contributions to experimental physics and to attosecond science – from the femtosecond scale of the motion of atoms within molecules, to the ultimate attosecond scale of the motion of electrons within atoms – and for pioneering work which has led to the first-ever experimental image of a molecular orbital and the first-ever space–time image of an attosecond pulse. Attosecond techniques can freeze the motion of electrons within atoms and molecules, observe quantum mechanical orbitals, and follow chemical reactions.