Carnegie Mellon University
March 05, 2012

Press Release: Renowned Condensed Matter Physicist Marvin L. Cohen To Receive Carnegie Mellon's Prestigious Dickson Prize in Science

Contact: Jocelyn Duffy / 412-268-9982 /

Marvin CohenPITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University will award its 2011 Dickson Prize in Science to Marvin L. Cohen, one of the most influential condensed matter physicists in the world. His work, which focuses on developing theories to predict and explain the properties of materials, has had a significant impact in the fields of nanotechnology and materials science.

Cohen, who is a University Professor of Physics at the University of California, Berkeley, and a senior faculty scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, will receive the award, which includes a medal and cash prize, before giving the Dickson Prize Lecture at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, March 8 in McConomy Auditorium in the University Center on CMU's Oakland campus. His lecture, titled "Einstein, Condensed Matter Physics, Nanoscience & Superconductivity," is free and open to the public.

CMU's Dickson Prize in Science was established in 1969 by the late Pittsburgh physician Joseph Z. Dickson, and his wife Agnes Fisher Dickson. It is awarded annually to individuals in the United States who make outstanding contributions to science.

In his early career Cohen developed the "pseudopotential model," which allows scientists to calculate what will happen to materials under intense pressure. The model is used to predict the properties of never-before-seen materials. His later work explained the electronic nature of buckyballs using the standard model of superconductivity. Cohen continues to do research on nanoscience and nanotechnology and in materials science.

Cohen's research is among the most influential in physics, with his papers being some of the most cited in condensed matter physics. He has been awarded the National Medal of Science, the American Physical Society (APS) Oliver E. Buckley Prize for Solid State Physics, the APS Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize, the Foresight Institute Richard P. Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology, the Technology Pioneer Award from the World Economic Forum and the Berkeley Citation. He is a fellow and past-president of the APS, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Association. 

Pictured above is Marvin Cohen.