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The Institute of Physics awards 2017 Thomas Young Medal and Prize to Kishan Dholakia

30 November 2017

Kishan Dholakia
Kishan Dholakia

SPIE Fellow Kishan Dholakia, a professor at the University of St Andrews, received the 2017 Thomas Young Medal and Prize from the Institute of Physics (IOP) at their award ceremony 14 November.

Thomas Young was an English polymath noted for having established the wave theory of light via his famous double-slit experiment, and for what is now known as Young’s modulus, which relates the stress in a body to its associated strain. Outside of mathematics and physics, he also made important contributions to medicine and to the deciphering of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. The award recognizes distinguished contributions to optics, including work related to physics outside the visible region. It is one of the IOP’s Silver Subject Medals and is accompanied by a prize of £1,000 and a certificate.

Dholakia received the honor for his contributions to the field of optical micromanipulation using shaped light fields in liquid, air and vacuum. Notably, Dholakia demonstrated the first ever use of propagation-invariant light fields in optical trapping. His work in this area spawned a major worldwide activity that involved the exploitation of propagation-invariant fields, and this topic continues to thrive and flourish.

Dholakia is very active in the Society. He has authored over 150 papers with SPIE, published in the Journal of Biomedical Optics and Journal of Nanophotonics a dozen times, and served as a course instructor. He is a frequent participant in SPIE events as a technical presenter, plenary speaker, and panel member. And he has served on conference symposia and program committees for over a decade. For his countless contributions to SPIE, he was made a Fellow of the Society in 2009.