Supernumerary Fellow and Physics Lecturer Professor Andrea Cavalleri has been awarded the 2018 Frank Isakson Prize for Optical Effects in Solids by the American Physical Society for his "pioneering contributions to the development and application of ultra-fast optical spectroscopy to condensed matter systems, and providing insight into lattice dynamics, structural phase transitions, and the non-equilibrium control of solids."
The prize, established in 1979 and supported by Solid State Communications since 1994, is given biennially in recognition of outstanding optical research that leads to breakthroughs in the condensed matter sciences. It consists of $5,000, an allowance for travel to the meeting of the Society at which the prize is presented, and a certificate citing the contributions made by the recipient.
Andrea works at the interface between condensed matter physics, ultrafast optics and x-ray science. His research looks at the physics of strongly correlated electron systems, and seeks to control their structural and electronic phases with ultrashort pulses of light. He also studies the dynamics of phase transitions and of various types of coherent excitations in condensed matter, and uses femtosecond x-rays to interrogate them on their elementary timescale.
Andrea studied physics in Italy and received his doctorate from the University of Essen in 1998. After working at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, he was appointed to an Oxford University professorship in 2005. In 2008 he became head of a Max Planck Society research group based at the University of Hamburg; he was the founding director of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter. he has previously been awarded the 2004 European Science Foundation Young Investigator Award, the 2015 Max Born Medal, and the 2015 Dannie Heineman Prize for physics by the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen.