HEAD High Energy Astrophysics Division

HEAD AAS Rossi Prize Winners

 

  • 2014 Douglas Finkbeiner, Tracy Slatyer, and Meng Su
  • 2013 Alice K. Harding and Roger W. Romani
  • 2012 Marco Tavani and the AGILE team
  • 2011 Bill Atwood, Peter Michelson, and the Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope LAT team
  • 2010 Felix A. Aharonian, Werner Hofman, Heinrich J. Voelk and the H.E.S.S. team
  • 2009 Charles D. Bailyn, Jeffrey E. McClintock, and Ronald A. Remillard
  • 2008 Steven Allen, J. Patrick Henry, Maxim Markevitch, Alexey Vikhlinin
  • 2007 Neil Gehrels and the Swift Team
  • 2006 Tod Strohmayer, Deepto Chakrabarty, and Rudy Wijnands
  • 2005 Stan Woosley
  • 2004 Harvey Tananbaum and Martin Weisskopf
  • 2003 Robert Duncan, Christopher Thompson, & Chryssa Kouveliotou
  • 2002 Leon Van Speybroeck
  • 2001 Andrew Fabian and Yasuo Tanaka
  • 2000 Peter Meszaros, Bohdan Paczynski, & Martin Rees
  • 1999 Jean Swank & Hale Bradt
  • 1998 The BeppoSAX Team & Dr. Jan van Paradijs
  • 1997 Trevor C. Weekes
  • 1996 Felix Mirabel & Luis F. Rodriguez
  • 1995 Carl Fichtel
  • 1994 Gerald Fishman
  • 1993 Giovanni Bignami & Jules Halpern
  • 1992 Gerald H. Share
  • 1991 John A. Simpson
  • 1990 Stirling A. Colgate
  • 1989 Members of the IMB & Kamioka Experiment Teams
  • 1988 Rashid A. Sunyaev
  • 1987 Michiel van der Klis
  • 1986 Allan S. Jacobson
  • 1985 William R. Forman & Christine Jones
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    Rossi Prize Citations

    1985 William R. Forman and Christine Jones

    The 1985 Rossi Prize was awarded to Dr. William R. Forman and Dr. Christine Jones for pioneering work in the study of X-ray emission from early type galaxies. The prize consists of a certificate and $500. Drs. Jones and Forman gave a joint invited talk at the Charlottesville Meeting of the AAS. As the nomination letter states,

    Their recent work on hot coronae around early-type galaxies represents a very significant contribution to high energy astrophysics. To quote: "Forman and Jones have found that extended X-ray emission is a common feature of early-type galaxies in a variety of environments including cluster outskirts, small groups, and the field. Their very thorough observations and analysis show that gaseous coronae are an ubiquitous feature of bright early-type galaxies, that the coronae have soft X-ray luminosity's ranging from 1039 to 1042 erg s-1, that many of the coronae are resolved with angular extents ~>100 kpc, and that the X-ray emission is almost certainly thermal with a typical temperature of ~107 K."

    1986 Allan S. Jacobson

    HEAD has named astrophysicist Dr. Allan S. (Bud) Jacobson of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory the winner of the 1986 Rossi Prize. The prize was awarded for pioneering work on high-resolution gamma-ray spectroscopy, a new branch of astronomy in which discrete spectral lines resulting from nuclear transitions are observed. Bud made a presentation of his work at the June meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Ames, Iowa.

    Dr. Jacobson led the group at JPL that carried out the first high resolution all-sky survey of gamma-ray sources with a germanium spectrometer flown on HEAO-3 in 1979-1980. These observations resulted in the discovery of diffuse emission from the galactic plane in a very narrow gamma-ray line at 1.809 MeV resulting from the decay of radioactive 26Al. This nucleus is most likely produced in explosive nucleosynthesis in novae and supernovae or by expulsion from massive stars. The discovery of 26Al was the first direct evidence that elements of intermediate weight are presently being produced in our galaxy and provides for a determination of the present rate of nucleosynthesis on a galactic scale. The HEAO-3 observations of the 1.809 MeV line were confirmed by independent observations with a spectrometer on the Solar Maximum Mission.

    Observations were also made in narrow band 0.511 MeV gamma ray emission, confirming earlier observations of the 0.511 meV line from the direction of galactic center. Both the line and the underlying continuum were shown to be time variable, thereby constraining the source to be a compact object.

    One of the letters of nomination says of Jacobson's findings: "I believe these discoveries are all path finding in nature and will have lasting influence on the direction of both experimental and theoretical research in high energy astrophysics."

    1987 Michiel van der Klis

    The 1987 Rossi Prize was presented to Michiel van der Klis at the Vancouver meeting of the AAS in June 1988. The prize was awarded to Michiel for high discovery of quasi-periodic oscillations in the X-ray flux from GX5-1. This object is a low-mass accretion-powered X-ray binary, and the results have led to the discovery of numerous other QPO and have stimulated much work to derive the rotation periods of the neutron stars in these systems.

    The prize was presented by HEAD Chair David Helfand, and was followed by a talk given by Dr. van der Klis concerning his work.

    1988 Rashid A. Sunyaev

    The recipient is Dr. Rashid A. Sunyaev of the Institute for Cosmic Research in Moscow. The award was made to recognize his contributions to understanding cosmic X-ray sources, especially the structure of accretion disks around black holes, the X-ray spectra of compact objects, and the Mir- based discovery of hard X-ray emission from supernovae 1987A. Dr. Sunyaev was invited to deliver a lecture describing his work at the January 1989 meeting in Boston.

    1989 Members of the IMB and Kamioka Experiment teams

    The 1989 Rossi Prize has been awarded jointly to the members of the Kamiokande and IMB high-energy neutrino experiment teams. The Prize was awarded for the dramatic and mutually confirming detections by these two experiments of a burst of neutrinos from SN1987A.

    The observations of neutrinos from SN1987A by the IMB and Kamioka teams opened a new window on the cosmos beyond the solar system and provided the first direct data on the high-energy processes that occur in the centers of collapsing stars. The numbers and energies of the neutrinos observed in the burst and its duration confirmed the main outlines of the theory of stellar collapse and supernovae that has been developed over the past two decades. The measurements by the IMB and Kamioka teams have also provided a new constraint on the mass and other properties of the electron neutrino.

    The 1989 Rossi Prize was awarded at a special plenary session during the June meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Prize was accepted on behalf of the entire Kamiokande team by Y. Totsuka, of the Institute of Cosmic Ray Research at the University of Tokyo. F. Reines, of the University of California at Irvine, will accept the Prize on behalf of the entire IMB team. These two team spokesmen were invited to describe the history as well as the results of their team's experiments at the plenary session.

    The prize-winning members of the Kamiokande team and their institutional affiliations were:

    • K.S. Hirata, Institute for Cosmic Ray Research, University of Tokyo
    • T. Kajita, Institute for Cosmic Ray Research, University of Tokyo
    • M. Koshiba, Tokai University
    • M. Nakahata, Institute for Cosmic Ray Research, University of Tokyo
    • Y. Oyama, National Laboratory for High Energy Physics
    • N. Sato, Institute for Cosmic Ray Research, University of Tokyo
    • A. Suzuki, National Laboratory for High Energy Physics
    • M. Takita, Osaka University
    • Y. Totsuka, Institute for Cosmic Ray Research, University of Tokyo
    • T. Kifune, Institute for Cosmic Ray Research, University of Tokyo
    • T. Suda, Kobe University
    • K. Takahashi, National Laboratory for High Energy Physics
    • T. Tanimori,National Laboratory for High Energy Physics
    • K. Miyano, Niigata University
    • M. Yamada, Niigata University
    • E.W. Beier, University of Pennsylvania
    • L.R. Feldscher, University of Pennsylvania
    • S.B. Kim, University of Pennsylvania
    • A.K. Mann, University of Pennsylvania
    • F.M. Newcomer, University of Pennsylvania
    • R. van Berg, University of Pennsylvania
    • W. Zhang, University of Pennsylvania
    • B.G. Cortez, AT&T Bell Laboratories

    The prize-winning members of the IMB team and their institutional affiliations were:

    • Richard M. Bionta, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
    • Geoffrey Blewitt, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
    • Clyde B. Bratton, Cleveland State University
    • David W. Casper, University of Michigan and Boston University
    • Alessandra Ciocio, Boston University
    • Richard Claus, Boston University
    • Bruce Cortez, AT&T Bell Laboratories
    • Marshall Crouch, Case Western Reserve University
    • Stephen T. Dye, University of Hawaii and Boston University
    • Steven M. Errede, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    • G. William Foster, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
    • Wojciech Gajewski, University of California at Irvine
    • Kenneth S. Ganezer, University of California at Irvine
    • Maurice Goldhaber, Brookhaven National Laboratory
    • Todd J. Haines, University of Maryland
    • Tegid W. Jones, University College London
    • Danuta Kielczewska, University of California at Irvine and Warsaw University
    • William R. Kropp, University of California at Irvine
    • John G. Learned, University of California at Irvine
    • John M. LoSecco, University of Notre Dame
    • James M. Matthews, University of Michigan
    • Richard Miller, University of California at Irvine
    • Manjeet S. Mudan, University College London
    • Hye-Sook Park, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
    • LeRoy Price, University of California at Irvine
    • Frederick Reines, University of California at Irvine
    • Jonas Schultz, University of California at Irvine
    • Sally C. Seidel, University of Michigan
    • Eric L. Shumard, AT&T Bell Laboratories
    • Daniel A. Sinclair, University of Michigan
    • Henry W. Sobel, University of California at Irvine
    • James L. Stone, Boston University
    • Lawrence R. Sulak, Boston University
    • Robert R. Svoboda, University of California at Irvine
    • Gregory J. Thornton, University of Michigan
    • John C. van der Velde, University of Michigan
    • Craig R. Wuest, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

    1990 Stirling A. Colgate

    The High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society hereby awards the Bruno Rossi Prize for 1990 to Stirling A. Colgate in recognition of his seminal role in predicting the generation of neutrinos in core collapse and elucidating the importance of the neutrinos for the dynamics and diagnostics of supernova explosions.

    1991 John A. Simpson

    The 1991 Rossi Prize of the High Energy Division of the American Astronomical Society is awarded to Prof. John A. Simpson for his seminal contributions to the understanding of cosmic rays, comets, and solar activity, with particular note of his pioneering development of neutron detectors.

    1992 Gerald H. Share

    The 1992 Rossi Prize of the High Energy Division of the American Astronomical Society is awarded to Dr. Gerald H. Share for his ingenuity and leadership in using the Gamma-Ray Spectrometer on SMM to study the origin of gamma radiation from supernovae, the Galaxy, solar flares, and gamma-ray bursts.

    1993 Giovanni Bignami and Jules Halpern

    The 1993 Rossi Prize of the High Energy Division of the American Astronomical Society is awarded to Drs. Jules Halpern and Giovanni Bignami for their outstanding contributions toward resolving the mystery of Geminga.

    1994 Gerald Fishman

    The 1994 Rossi Prize winner is Dr. Gerald Fishman "for his signal contributions to the Burst and Transient Source Experiment aboard the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory (BATSE) and the continuing puzzle of the Gamma-ray Bursts."

    1995 Carl Fichtel

    The 1995 Rossi Prize of the High Energy Division of the American Astronomical Society is awarded to Dr. Carl E. Fichtel, for his key role in the development of the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory mission, for his leadership of the EGRET instrument team, and for the discovery by EGRET of the new class of 'Gamma-ray Blazars'.

    1996 Felix Mirabel and Luis F. Rodriguez

    The 1996 Rossi Prize of the High Energy Division of the American Astronomical Society is awarded to Felix Mirabel and Luis F. Rodriguez for the seminal discovery of double-sided radio jets from the galactic sources 1E1740.7-2942 and GRS 1758-258 and superluminal motion of radio knots in the galactic source GRS 1915+105.

    1997 Trevor C. Weekes

    The 1997 Rossi Prize of the High Energy Division of the American Astronomical Society is awarded to Trevor C. Weekes for his key role in the development of very high energy gamma-ray astronomy and the discovery of TeV gamma radiation from the Crab nebula and Mrk 421.

    1998 The BeppoSAX Team and Dr. Jan van Paradijs

    The 1998 Rossi Prize of the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society is awarded to the BeppoSAX Team (represented by Livio Scarsi) and Dr. Jan van Paradijs for the discovery of the X-ray and optical afterglow of gamma-ray bursts, making possible the solution to the 30 year old problem of fixing the distances to the gamma-ray burst sources.

    The prize-winning members of the BeppoSAX team and their institutional affiliations were:

    • Livio Scarsi IFCAI/CNR, Palermo and DEAF Univ. of Palermo
    • L.Angelo Antonelli Oss. Astronomico Roma
    • Johan Bleeker SRON, Utrecht
    • Giuliano Boella Physics Dept., Univ.of Milano
    • Bert Brinkman SRON, Utrecht
    • Cristopher R. Butler ASI, Roma
    • Oberto Citterio Oss. Astronomico Brera/Merate
    • Alessandro Coletta BeppoSAX SOC, Roma
    • Giancarlo Conti IFCTR / CNR, Milano
    • Enrico Costa IAS / CNR, Roma
    • Daniele Dal Fiume ITESRE/CNR, Bologna
    • Guido Di Cocco ITESRE/CNR, Bologna
    • Marco Feroci IAS / CNR, Roma
    • Fabrizio Fiore Oss. Astronomico Roma
    • Filippo Frontera ITESRE/CNR, Bologna and Phys. Dept. Univ. Ferrara
    • Paolo Giommi ASI, Roma
    • John Heise SRON, Utrecht
    • Jean in`t Zand SRON, Utrecht
    • Rieks Jager SRON, Utrecht
    • Johan Muller BeppoSAXœ SDC, Roma
    • Luciano Nicastro IFCAI / CNR, Palermo
    • Eliana Palazzi ITESRE / CNR, Bologna
    • Arvind Parmar SSD / ESA Noordwijk
    • G.Cesare Perola Physics Dept., Univ. of Roma 3
    • Luigi Piro IAS / CNR, Roma
    • Bruno Sacco IFCAI /CNR, Palermo
    • Paolo Soffitta IAS / CNR, Roma
    • Brian G. Taylor SSD / ESA, Noordwijk

    1999 Jean Swank and Hale Bradt

    The 1999 Rossi Prize of the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society is awarded to Drs. Jean Swank and Hale Bradt for their key roles in the development of the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer, and for the resulting important discoveries related to high time resolution observations of compact astrophysical objects.

    2000 Peter Meszaros, Bohdan Paczynski, and Martin Rees

    The 2000 Rossi Prize of the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society is awarded to Peter Meszaros, Bohdan Paczynski, and Martin Rees for the development of theoretical models of Gamma Ray Bursters and their afterglows.

    2001 Andrew Fabian and Yasuo Tanaka

    The 2001 Rossi Prize of the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society is awarded to Andrew Fabian and Yasuo Tanaka for their discovery, with the ASCA satellite, of broad iron K-lines in active galactic nuclei, which demonstrate the effects of the strong gravitational field characteristic of black holes. press release

    2002 Leon Van Speybroeck

    The 2002 Rossi Prize of the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society is awarded to Leon Van Speybroeck for his singular contribution to high energy astrophysics leading to the exquisite image quality produced by the X-ray optics and telescope of the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

    2003 Robert Duncan, Christopher Thompson, & Chryssa Kouveliotou

    The 2003 Rossi Prize of the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society is awarded to Robert Duncan and Christopher Thompson for their prediction, and to Chryssa Kouveliotou for her observational confirmation, of the existence of magnetars: neutron stars with extraordinarily strong magnetic fields.

    2004 Harvey Tananbaum and Martin Weisskopf

    The 2004 Rossi Prize of the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society is awarded to Harvey Tananbaum and Martin Weisskopf for their vision, dedication, and leadership in the development, testing, and operation of the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

    2005 Stan Woosley

    The 2005 Rossi Prize of the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society is awarded to Stan Woosley for his contributions to the theory of nucleosynthesis, supernova mechanisms and, in particular, the collapsar model of long gamma-ray bursts.

    2006 Tod Strohmayer, Deepto Chakrabarty, and Rudy Wijnands

    The 2006 Rossi Prize of the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society is awarded to Tod Strohmayer, Deepto Chakrabarty, and Rudy Wijnands for their pioneering research which revealed millisecond spin periods and established the powerful diagnostic tool of kilohertz intensity oscillations in accreting neutron star binary systems.

    2007 Neil Gehrels and the Swift Team

    The 2007 Rossi Prize of the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society is awarded to Neil Gehrels and the Swift Team for major advances in the scientific understanding of gamma-ray bursts. These include groundbreaking observations to determine precise location of short gamma-ray bursts, and the discovery of enormously bright X-ray flares in the early afterglows.

    2008 Steven Allen, J. Patrick Henry, Maxim Markevitch, Alexey Vikhlinin

    The 2008 Rossi Prize of the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society is awarded to Steven Allen, J. Patrick Henry, Maxim Markevitch, and Alexey Vikhlinin for their pioneering work on the use of x-ray observations to study the physics and evolution of clusters of galaxies, and on the use of clusters as cosmological probes.

    2009 Charles D. Bailyn, Jeffrey E. McClintock and Ronald A. Remillard

    The 2009 Rossi Prize of the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society is awarded to Charles D. Bailyn, Jeffrey E. McClintock and Ronald A. Remillard for their measurement of the masses of Galactic black holes.

    2010 Felix A. Aharonian, Werner Hofman, Heinrich J. Voelk and the H.E.S.S. team

    The 2010 Rossi Prize of the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society is awarded to Felix A. Aharonian, Werner Hofman, Heinrich J. Voelk and the High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.) team for their outstanding contributions to imaging of very high-energy (TeV) gamma rays with H.E.S.S. Their work addressed fundamental questions related to particle acceleration and the origin of cosmic rays through the study of supernova remnants, pulsar wind nebulae and nearby active galactic nuclei.

    2011 Bill Atwood, Peter Michelson, and the Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope LAT team

    The 2011 Rossi Prize is awarded to Bill Atwood, Peter Michelson, and the Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope LAT team for enabling, through the development of the Large Area Telescope, new insights into neutron stars, supernova remnants, cosmic rays, binary systems, active galactic nuclei, and gamma-ray bursts.

    2012 Marco Tavani and the AGILE team

    The 2012 Rossi Prize has been awarded to astrophysicist Marco Tavani and the AGILE team for the discovery of gamma-ray flares from the Crab Nebula. Long thought to be a steady source of energy - from optical to gamma rays - this finding has changed the understanding of this very important cosmic object.

    2013 Alice K. Harding and Roger W. Romani

    The High Energy Astrophysics Division (HEAD) is awarding its Bruno Rossi Prize to Alice K. Harding (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center) and Roger W. Romani (Stanford University) for establishing a theoretical framework for understanding gamma-ray pulsars. These unusual objects, the collapsed remnants of massive stars that have exploded as supernovae, are rapidly spinning neutron stars that emit gamma-ray photons and sometimes (but not always) radio photons. Work by Harding and Romani has helped elucidate that the radiation at different wavelengths comes from different regions of the pulsar that differences between pulsars can result from different orientations toward Earth and/or from different angles between the stars' spin and magnetic axes.

    2013 Alice K. Harding and Roger W. Romani

    The High Energy Astrophysics Division (HEAD) is awarding its Bruno Rossi Prize to Alice K. Harding (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center) and Roger W. Romani (Stanford University) for establishing a theoretical framework for understanding gamma-ray pulsars. These unusual objects, the collapsed remnants of massive stars that have exploded as supernovae, are rapidly spinning neutron stars that emit gamma-ray photons and sometimes (but not always) radio photons. Work by Harding and Romani has helped elucidate that the radiation at different wavelengths comes from different regions of the pulsar that differences between pulsars can result from different orientations toward Earth and/or from different angles between the stars' spin and magnetic axes.

    2014 Douglas Finkbeiner, Tracy Slatyer, and Meng Su

    The scientists awarded the 2014 Rossi Prize were Professor Douglas Finkbeiner of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), Professor Tracy Slatyer of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Meng Su, a joint Einstein/Pappalardo fellow of physics at MIT and the Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research for their discovery, in gamma rays, of the large unanticipated Galactic structure now called the "Fermi Bubbles." From end to end, Fermi bubbles extend 50,000 light years, or roughly half of the Milky Way's diameter. These structures may be the remnant of an eruption from a supersized black hole at the center of our Galaxy.

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