Gothenburg Lise Meitner Award

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Lise Meitner with students
Physicist Lise Meitner with students, 1959. Courtesy of Bryn Mawr College. Credit: Wikimedia commons.

The Gothenburg Lise Meitner Award is awarded by the Gothenburg Physics Centre to a scientist who has made a breakthrough discovery in physics.

About Lise Meitner

Lise Meitner was a researcher in Berlin from 1907 to 1938, when she was forced to flee to Sweden, where she came to work for 20 years. As a woman she was initially not allowed in the laboratories where men worked and later she had a hard time getting a regular academic position. With these qualifications, she was still one of the leading nuclear physicists in the world. After her escape to Sweden, she was the first to understand nuclear fission when she during a stay in Kungälv Christmas in 1938 , along with her nephew Otto Frisch, could explain the results that Otto Hahn, her colleague in Berlin, sent her.

Gothenburg Lise Meitner Award

The Gothenburg Lise Meitner Award is not only about awarding well merited physicists, but also to enrich the scientific environment in Gothenburg. People belonging to either of Gothenburg Physics Center's four departments can nominate for the award.

The award was established in 2006 by the Department of Physics at University of Gothenburg and holds the honor, a monetary prize of EUR 3000 and a piece of art. In conjunction with the award ceremony, that takes place in September every year, the laureate holds a lecture in memory of the nuclear physicist Lise Meitner.

Laureate of the Gothenburg Lise Meitner Award 2024: Albert-László Barabási

Albert-László Barabási
Albert-László Barabási. Photo: Hamu és Gyémánt / Lábady István

The Gothenburg Physics Centre's Lise Meitner Award committee proudly presents Professor Albert-László Barabási, network scientist, as the laureate of the Gothenburg Lise Meitner Award 2024!

He's awarded for "Fundamental contributions to the statistical physics of real-world networks and the revolutionary insight that they are a result of growth by preferential attachment."

Albert-László Barabási is a network scientist, fascinated with a wide range of topics, from unveiling the structure of the brain to treating diseases using network medicine, from the emergence of success in art to how does science really works. His work has helped unveil the hidden order behind various complex systems using the quantitative tools of network science, a research field that he pioneered, and lead to the discovery of scale-free networks, helping explain the emergence of many natural, technological and social networks. Albert-László Barabási spends most of his time in Boston, where is the Robert Gray Dodge Professor of Network Science at Northeastern University, and holds an appointment in the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. But he splits his time with Budapest, where he runs an European Research Council project at Central European University. A Hungarian born native of Transylvania, Romania, he received his Masters in Theoretical Physics at the Eötvös University in Budapest, Hungary and Ph.D. three years later at Boston University.

Learn more about Albert-László Barabási's research on his website.

Award ceremony and symposium

The award ceremony is planned for September 26, and the symposium held in the honour of the laureate is held on September 27.

Lise Meitner Award Ceremony 2024

Welcome to attend the ceremony where the Gothenburg Physics Center presents the Gothenburg Lise Meitner Award for 2024 to network scientist Prof. Albert-László Barabási. Students are welcome to attend.

Lise Meitner Award 2024 Symposium

The Gothenburg Physics Centre is pleased to announce a symposium held in the honour of the Gothenburg Lise Meitner Award laureate of 2024, network scientist Prof. Albert-László Barabási. Title of the symposium: "Understanding complexity: network science and statistical physics" Students are welcome to attend.

Previous laureates

Ferenc Mezei and Anne L'Huillier
Laureates Ferenc Mezei and Anne L'Huillier in the Lise Meitner room at Chalmers, September 2022.

The following physicists have been awarded the Gothenburg Lise Meitner Award: 

* Stefan W. Hell received the Nobel prize in Chemistry 2014 "for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy”. Anne L'Huillier received the Nobel prize in Physics 2023 for “for experimental methods that generate attosecond pulses of light for the study of electron dynamics in matter”.

The prize was not awarded in 2022, due to the corona pandemic already delaying the awarding of the 2020 and 2021 prize.

Nominations for the award

Members of the Gothenburg Physics Centre can nominate for the award. February 1 is the strict deadline each year for nominations for that year's award.

More information is found on Chalmers' Intranet (login in using Chalmers ID, CID):

Nominations for the Gothenburg Lise Meitner Award