Prof Steven Balbus awarded Institute of Physics Paul Dirac Medal

Huge congratulations to Professor Steven Balbus, who was awarded the 2021 Institute of Physics Paul Dirac Medal and Prize. 

The Institute of Physics (IOP) is the professional body and learned society for physics, and the leading body for practising physicists, in the UK and Ireland. Its annual awards proudly reflect the wide variety of people, places, organisations and achievements that make physics such an exciting discipline.

The citation for the award reads: 

For fundamental contributions to the theory of accretion disc turbulence and the dynamical stability of astrophysical fluids, breaking new group by establishing the critical role played by weak magnetic fields.

Silver medal reading 'Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac' with engraved portrait of Dirac

The Paul Dirac Medal

The IOP awards celebrate physicists at every stage of their career; from those just starting out through to physicists at the peak of their careers, and those with a distinguished career behind them. 

With the award, Steven follows in the footsteps of David Sherrington, former Wykeham Professor of Physics and Emeritus Fellow of the College, who won the IoP Dirac Medal in 2007. 

'I am both delighted and deeply honoured to have been awarded the Dirac Medal and Prize for 2021 from the Institute of Physics. To have one's work recognised by one's peers at this level is deeply gratifying. There are many physicists whom I greatly admire who have received this award in the past.

While I certainly feel quite uplifted, this is all a little daunting as well! As a theorist, much of the time I have to wonder whether what I'm doing makes any sense, so to know that at least some of it has been useful and appreciated by other astrophysicists is encouraging. Most of all, I feel very fortunate to work in Oxford's Physics Department and at New College, with many outstanding colleagues and talented students. This is such a stimulating place to be.'

- Prof Steven Balbus

Prof Steven Balbus

Explore further

Discover more about New College