The University of Rochester's M. Parker Givens Professor of Optics and Professor of Physics, Robert Boyd, has been awarded the Humboldt Prize.
The prize, given by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, recognizes internationally renowned scientists and scholars, and comes with an award of 60,000 euros. It is given to 100 scientists each year in honor of an impressive cumulative body of work.
Boyd studies the nonlinear interactions of light with matter. In 2006, he demonstrated that light can be slowed down and even caused to move backward – a phenomenon with interesting philosophical implications as well as practical applications.
Boyd was nominated by German scientist Gerd Leuchs of the Max Plank Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen.
A native of Buffalo, N.Y., Boyd joined the faculty of the Institute of Optics in 1977, after earning his doctorate in physics from the University of California, Berkeley.
Boyd has written two books and published more than 300 research papers. He has been awarded eight patents and has supervised the doctoral theses of 29 students.
Boyd is the 2009 recipient of the Willis E. Lamb Award for Laser Science and Quantum Optics. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) and a past chair of its Division of Laser Science. He is also a fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA), of which he has been a member of the Board of Directors. Boyd is a member of the Board of Reviewing Editors of Science.