Albert Polman awarded 2014 Physica Prize

29 January 2014

UvA physicist Albert Polman has been awarded the 2014 Physica Prize. Polman, a current group leader and previous director of the Foundation for Fundamental Research’s (FOM) AMOLF institute, receives the Physica Prize in recognition of the prominent role he has played in the field of physics of light, both nationally and internationally.

This is the second year in a row that a professor at the University of Amsterdam has received this prestigious prize. Last year’s recipients were Stan Bentvelsen and Frank Linde.

The importance of light

Light plays a central role in our modern communication society. Tremendous amounts of data are transferred through glass fibers across the globe as optical zeroes and ones. Albert Polman is a world leading scientist in the research and application of light. In his work, Polman displays a fine feeling for timing, which brings him at the forefront in the development of new fields. He was the first to use ion incorporation to optically 'dope' materials. It did not take long before he was able to manipulate the optical properties of materials by not only controlling their atomic composition, but also by nanostructuring the materials, which dramatically changes the material properties. He thus succeeded in creating optical metamaterials with properties unseen in natural materials, such as refractive indices of value zero or below. A few years ago, Polman revolutionised the solar energy field with his suggestion that much could be gained by employing 'light management' of the light incident on solar cells.

About the Physica Prize

The Physica Prize is annually awarded to an eminent physicist working in the Netherlands. The selection process takes place after extensive consultation between the chair of the Dutch Physical Society (NNV) and the Physica Foundation, and various scientists representing the Dutch physics society.

The official award ceremony will take place during the FYSICA 2014 congress, which will be held on Friday, 1 April at Leiden University. In addition to receiving the award, Polman will also give the Physica lecture.

More information about the FYSICA 2014 conference can be found on


Published by  IOP