The Michelson Prize for Contributions to Astronomical Optical Interferometry is jointly sponsored by Commission 54 of the International Astronomical Union and the Mount Wilson Institute (MWI). The purpose of the Michelson Prize is to provide recognition within the interferometry community, as well as in the broader science community, of scientific research programs and results from the rapidly growing field of optical interferometry, and to assist the Mount Wilson Institute and the IAU Commission with engaging the community in promoting the future of optical interferometry. MWI is a non-profit corporation that operates the Mount Wilson Observatory (MWO) under an agreement with the Carnegie Institution of Washington. MWO is a world-renowned historical site in the development of optical interferometry and continues to play a significant modern role in the field.
Description of the Michelson Prize – The award recognizes outstanding achievement in the scientific research and facility areas of optical interferometry. The Prize may be given for scientific discoveries with applied optical interferometry, for guiding student research, for support of research operations including observatory management, and for related public service. The Prize may have either of two formats:
- The Michelson Lifetime Contributions Prize recognizes a substantial history of contributions and international leadership as evidenced by one or more of: publications, advancement of knowledge, reputation, procurement and management of resources, and accomplishments of former students. The award consists of a certificate with a statement of the contributions and their significance.
- The Michelson Investigator Prize recognizes recent, specific contributions, judged of exceptional merit or impact by such evidence as intensive follow-up activity, high citation rate, focus in conferences, or strong media interest. The award consists of a certificate with a statement of the contributions and their significance and a cash prize in an amount determined by the sponsor.
2010 - Michael Shao - The Michelson Prize for 2010 was awarded to Dr. Michael Shao for his pioneering work on ground-based and space-based interferometers, including the Mark I, Mark II, and Mark III interferometers, the Palomar Testbed Interferometer, the Keck Interferometer, and the Space Interferometry Mission. Dr. Shao has been a prominent leader in the interferometry community, developing new avenues of research, including narrow-angle astrometry, and nulling.
Nomination Process – Details for submitting nominations are available here. All materials should be submitted by email to the Secretary of IAU Commission 54 no later than June 1, 2012.
For a downloadable version of this announcement, click here.
Please note that Commission 54 is also co-sponsoring the Fizeau Prize with the Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur to recognize technical and theoretical progress in optical interferometry.