MWO founder George Ellery Hale atop Mt. Wilson, 1904 Huntington Library


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The Michelson Prize for 2014

Michelson Prize for 2014 - In collaboration with Commission 54 on Optical and Infrared Interferometry of the International Astronomical Union, the Mount Wilson Institute awards a prize every two years to an outstanding scientist working in the field of astronomical interferometry. Named after Albert Michelson, America's first Nobelist in a science field and pioneer of interferometry at the 100-inch telescope, the Michelson Prize is given either for lifetime achievements or for specific work done by an individual investigator.

The Michelson Prize for 2014 is awarded to Dr. John Monnier. Dr. Monnier's prize was presented in Montreal by MWI Director Dr. Hal McAlister at the recent SPIE meeting on Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation. The Prize citation reads: The 2014 Michelson Investigator Prize is awarded to John Monnier for his extensive and varied contributions throughout a rich and vigorous career in high angular resolution methods and applications. His leadership in developing the unique Michigan InfraRed Combiner, and its use at the CHARA Array in interferometric imaging, has led the community in delivering on the promise of optical interferometry to science. His group's imagery of rapidly rotating stars has excited the imagination of scientists and public alike and has given physicists new constraints on stellar structure. This Prize also recognizes his earlier heavily cited work on Young Stellar Objects. The first interferometric YSO angular diameters are a fundamental contribution to the understanding of preplanetary disks, guiding theoretical understanding and constraining modeling of the planet formation zone.

Two prior Michelson Prizes have been awarded - to Dr. Michael Shao of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 2010 and to Dr. Olivier Chesneau of the Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur in 2012.

Mt. Wilson, CA
From left: Michelson Prize winner John Monnier, MWI Director Hal McAlister, and IAU Comm. 54 Former President Steve Ridgway.