Promoting the role of Physics in research, education, industry and the community
The Massey Medal was proposed at the AIP Congress in 1988 and established in 1990 as a gift of the Institute of Physics, UK, to mark the 25th anniversary of the founding of the AIP as a separate institution in 1963.
Sir Harrie Massey, born near Melbourne in 1908, had a distinguished career in the UK and in 1931, with Edward Bullard, published the first experimental evidence for electron diffraction in gases. He saw the potential of using direct rocket probes of the atmosphere layers and eventually, as Chairman of the British National Committee for Space Research, he guided the entire UK space research programme. From 1960-64 he was President of the European Preparatory Commission for Space research. He was knighted in 1960.
The prize is awarded every two years for contributions to physics or its applications made by an Australian physicist working anywhere in the world, or by a non Australian resident in, and for work carried out in, Australia. A lecture on the work for which the Medal is awarded is presented at Congress in the year of the award, and an article published in Australian Physics. The recipient must be a member of the Australian Institute of Physics or the Institute of Physics (UK).
Sir Harrie Massey, Hon FInstP, FRS, was born in 1908 about 50 miles from Melbourne, in what was then bush country. By the age of 21 he had gained a joint Honours BSc in physics and chemistry, an MSc in physics and a BA in mathematics. A distinguished and wide-ranging career followed at Cambridge, Queens University Belfast and University College London, with Massey’s publication in 1931 (with Edward Bullard) of the first experimental evidence for electron diffraction in gases, setting the cornerstone for his work on atomic collision theory.
His interest in atomic and molocular processes made him one of the first to see the potential of using direct rocket probes of the atmosphere layers and he devoted his boundless energy to initiating rocket exploration. As chair of the British National Committee for Space Research, he guided the entire UK space research programme and from 1960-64 was president of the European Preparatory Commission for Space Research. He was knighted in 1960.
Massey was President of the Physical Society from 1954 to 1956 and was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Physics in 1976. He died in 1983.
The prize was established as a gift of the IOP to mark the 25th anniversary of the founding of the AIP as an autonomous body in 1963.
A call for nominations will be made in Australian Physics each awarding year. The next call for nominations will close on 1 June 2022. Further information about this award can be obtained from the MasseyMedal Guidelines for nomination.
Applications and nominations should be sent to the AIP Special Projects Officer.
Physicists come from diverse cultures, backgrounds and experiences. It is our collective goal to identify and nurture the future leaders of the organisation and to ensure that they represent the wide diversity of career stage, ethnicity, gender, geographic location, institutional size, and race. Therefore the AIP strives for balance and diversity in its awards and as a result the AIP Executive has decided that an award will not be considered until we have received at least one male and one female nomination.