Call for nominations for the Fizeau Lifetime Achievement Award for 2020

The Fizeau and Michelson prizes for 2020 will be awarded during the SPIE conference, on Friday 19 June 2020. Nominations are requested for 30 April 2020. See attached rules.

Description of the Fizeau Prize

The Fizeau and Michelson Prizes are two prizes in Astronomical Interferometry, sponsored by the Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur and the Lowell Observatory. The two prizes are similar but complementary, with the Fizeau Prize emphasizing innovative technical and theoretical work, and the Michelson Prize emphasizing application of interferometry to astrophysical research. The Prizes were first created in 2010 by the then-IAU Commission 54 for Optical and Infrared Interferometry, OCA, and the Mt. Wilson Institute (MWI). In 2018 Lowell Observatory took over stewardship of the Michelson Prize.

The purpose of the Fizeau Prize is to provide recognition within the interferometry community, as well as in the broader science community, of theoretical and technical progress and developments in the rapidly growing field of optical interferometry, and to assist the OCA with engaging the community in promoting the future of optical interferometry. The Prize recognizes outstanding achievement in fundamentals and implementation of optical interferometry. The Prize may be given for significant theoretical and technical innovations, for instrument design and deployment, including programmatic and management accomplishments, for teaching, and for related public service. It recognizes a substantial history of contributions and international leadership as evidenced by one or more publications, advancement of knowledge, reputation, procurement and management of resources, and accomplishments of former students.

The Fizeau Prize will consist of a certificate of award, with a statement of the contributions and their significance, accompanied by a cash prize determined by the OCA. The Fizeau Prize for Contributions to Astronomical Optical Interferometry is jointly sponsored by the Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur (OCA) and the Lowell Observatory.

The OCA includes research departments that have a long and continuing history of innovative contributions to the development of optical interferometry.

A description of the Prize guidelines could be found here: Fizeau Prize Rules

Previous laureates


The Joint Fizeau-Michelson Prize Committee awards the 2022 Fizeau Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Theo ten Brummelaar for his leadership and long-term efforts in forwarding the technology and practice of astronomical optical interferometry, as evidenced by his central role in the optical, computational, and scientific development of the CHARA Array. Dr. ten Brummelaar directed ongoing array updates with the development of the telescope adaptive optics systems and sustained instrumentation development in the beam combining laboratory. Creating and fostering the international CHARA Consortium, he has greatly enriched the technical and scientific programs of the CHARA Array, and directed initiatives to increase the user community to scientists from around the world.

2020: Guy PERRIN

The Joint Fizeau-Michelson Prize Committee awards the 2022 Fizeau Lifetime Achievement Award to Guy Perrin for his accomplishments in theory and technology of optical interferometry, his impressive achievements in fundamentals and implementation of advanced instrument methods, and for his broad support to the interferometry community over more than two decades.

Guy Perrin entered the world of optical interferometry when, as a student, he worked with the group that demonstrated the power of single-mode fibers for interferometric measurement (Coudé du Foresto, Mariotti and Ridgway). And he undertook the challenge of evolving the FLUOR concept into the first efficient precision interferometry machine. Early examples are the exquisite precision of his interferometric measurements of giant stars which led to the widely cited extension of the effective temperature scale of giants.

With this, Guy carried out pioneering work in providing a solid theoretical framework for singlemode interferometry (dispersion, piston effects, photon noise, field of view…). He embarked on highly original paths with the OHANA program and then with the FIRST concept.

2018: Wesley TRAUB