UNSW Newsroom | 12 February 2013
Scientia Professor Victor Flambaum, of the UNSW School of Physics, has received a prestigious Humboldt Research Award in recognition of lifetime achievements in research. The award honours academics who have made an outstanding contribution through fundamental discoveries, new theories, or insights that have a significant impact on their field of endeavour.
Professor Flambaum has the distinction of having published scientific papers in many branches of physics, including atomic physics, nuclear physics, elementary particles, solid state physics and astrophysics.
He said the current trend in science was for narrow specialisation, but his more traditional, wide-ranging approach allows him to collaborate with many different people: “I have very broad research interests.”
Professor Flambaum, who is head of Theoretical Physics at UNSW, will use the EUR 60,000 prize to travel to Germany and continue research with colleagues there.
He is a member of a team led by UNSW’s Professor John Webb that won the 2012 Eureka Award for Scientific Research for the extraordinary discovery that the one of the four fundamental forces in the universe – electromagnetism – may not be constant throughout space and time.
Their study of 300 distant galaxies found the strength of electromagnetism appeared to change gradually from one side of the universe to the other.