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Dirac Medal Ceremony

2009 Medallists Car and Parrinello honoured in Trieste

Dirac Medal Ceremony

Roberto Car and Michele Parrinello

ICTP presented its two 2009 Dirac Medal recipients with medals and monetary gifts at the official Dirac Medal ceremony on 21 May in Trieste. Roberto Car and Michele Parrinello were awarded the prize for their revolutionary "molecular dynamics" numerical simulation method that allows scientists and laymen alike to visualise atoms in motion during physical and chemical processes.

They published a paper on their method in the November 1985 issue of the journal Physical Review Letters; the paper now ranks sixth among the journal's top cited articles, with a total of 5027 citations. The work created a new paradigm, now an indispensable tool of every computational condensed matter physicist, chemist, and even biologist.

Born in Trieste, Roberto Car is a professor in the Chemistry Department at Princeton University, New Jersey, USA.

Michele Parrinello, who was born in Messina, Italy, is a professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich).

ICTP's Dirac Medal is given in honour of P.A.M. Dirac, one of the greatest physicists of the 20th century and a staunch friend of the Centre. Recipients, who have made significant contributions to physics, are announced annually on Dirac's birthday, 8 August. The Medallists also receive a prize of US $5,000.

For additional information about the Dirac Medal and a complete list of previous
winners, see ICTP's Prizes and Medals web page.


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