Michael Berry

Sir Michael Berry has been awarded the 2014 Lorentz medal for the development of the theory of the geometric phase, which plays an important role in both the classical and quantum mechanical theory of waves.

Berry reminds us of Lorentz not only because of his field of research, but also because of the similarities in style and interests. Berry, like Lorentz, combines theoretical questions with practical applications, and does not shy away from detailed calculations. (We recall Lorentz's numerical work on tidal flow for the Dutch government.) Both scientists share a talent for discovering hidden gems in mundane problems and see connections that others overlook. An example from Berry's work is the connection between singularities in a rainbow and tsunamis.

About the laureate

Michael BerryMichael Victor Berry (born 1941) studied physics at Exeter University and received his PhD from the University of St. Andrews. His subsequent academic career developed at the University of Bristol, where he is presently the Melville Wills Professor of Physics (Emeritus).

Berry received numerous national and international awards for his achievements, including the Royal Medal of the Royal Society and the Wolf Prize in Physics. He was elected member of the Royal Society of London in 1982 and was knighted in 1996. Since 2000, Berry has been a foreign member of the Academy.