Peter Zoller, professor of physics at the University of Innsbruck and scientific director of the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, has won the Dirac Medal 2006. Zoller is being honoured for his innovative and prolific accomplishments in atomic physics, including his seminal work in proposing methods to use trapped ions for quantum computing and describing how to realize the Bose-Hubbard model and associated phase transitions in ultracold gases.
The Dirac Medal, established by the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in 1985, is one of the world's most prestigious prizes in physics. Recipients receive a cash award and medal. They also present a lecture at the ICTP in Trieste, Italy, at an official ceremony held at a later date. Winners of the Nobel Prize, Fields Medal and Wolf Foundation Prize are not eligible for the Dirac Medal.
The announcement of the Dirac Medal is made each year on 8 August, the birth date of the great 20th century physicist Paul A.M. Dirac, who won the Nobel Prize in 1933. Dirac was a close associate and friend of ICTP from the Centre's first days in the early 1960s until his death in 1984.
For additional information about the Dirac Medal and a complete list of previous winners, see http://www.