Prizes and honours

Prizes and honours

On this page, we present some of the famous (and not so famous) prize-winning scientists who have worked at or collaborated with the ILL over the years. This is by no means an exhaustive list but should give you some idea of the sheer wealth of ground-breaking research to which the ILL and its neutrons have contributed.
A. Filhol

Nobel Prize winners who worked at or collaborated with the ILL

Anton Zeilinger

Nobel Prize in Physics 2022 (together with A. Aspect and J. Clauser)

Anton Zeilinger received a doctorate from the University of Vienna in 1971 for his work on "Neutron Depolarization in Dysprosium Single Crystals" under the supervision of Helmut Rauch. From 1974 to 1989, he worked half-time as a visiting scientist at the ILL, performing various experiments to test fundamental predictions of quantum mechanics. Here, Rauch and Zeilinger successfully achieved a direct observation of fermion spin superposition, measured at the neutron interferometry station S18. During the same period, they also demonstrated the sign change of the wave function of fermions under rotations of 360 degrees. These outstanding experiments marked the beginning of a long series of quantum experiments at the instrument S18 up to the present day.
After spending some time as a visiting scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Anton Zeilinger held positions at TU Wien (Austria), TU München (Germany) and the University of Innsbruck (Austria). During this period, he applied the concept of neutron interferometry to very cold neutrons, aiming to gain greater sensitivity due to a much longer wavelength, and to take advantage of different systematic effects compared to the perfect crystal neutron interferometry at S18. These experiments were conducted at the ultra-cold and very cold neutron facility PF2. For them, the beamline PF2/VCN was entirely rebuilt and equipped. The activity led to a precise measurement of the gravitational phase shift of neutron wave packets, and the experimental demonstration of the Scalar Neutron Aharonov-Bohm effect.
Anton Zeilinger’s research then turned towards experiments using mainly photons. The list of scientific highlights is long, ranging from the demonstration of the quantum teleportation of a photon, the development of techniques for quantum entanglement and the teleportation of quantum states to important contributions to quantum information technology and quantum cryptography, as well as matter wave interferometry experiments similar to the ones with neutrons, but using atoms and even bucky balls.

The neutron work of Anton Zeilinger is also described here: <>;

1- Van Der Zouw G., Weber M., Felber J., Gähler R., Geltenbort P., Zeilinger A. "Aharonov-Bohm and gravity experiments with the very-cold-neutron interferometer" (2000) Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res. A 440, 568-574 . DOI: 10.1016/S0168-9002(99)01038-4
2- Raum K., Weber M., Gähler R., Zeilinger A. "Gravity and inertia in neutron crystal optics and VCN interferometry" (1996) J. Phys. Soc. Japan 65 Suppl. A, 277-280.
3- Tschernitz M., Gähler R., Mampe W., Schillinger B., Zeilinger A. "Precision measurements of single slit diffraction with very cold neutrons" (1992) Physics Letters A 164, 365-368 . DOI:10.1016/0375-9601(92)90097-6
4- Eder K., Gruber M., Zeilinger A., Gähler R., Mampe W. "Diffraction of very cold neutrons at phase gratings" (1991) Physica B 172, 329-338. DOI: 10.1016/0921-4526(91)90451-J
5- Chattopadhyay T., Zeilinger A., Wacenovsky M., Weber H.W., Hyun O.B., Finnemore D.K. "Search for magnetic ordering of Tm moments in TmBa2Cu3O7-delta down to 90mK" (1990) Solid State Commun 73, 721-723. DOI: 10.1016/0038-1098(90)90561-O
6- Laggner P., Netzer F., Rauch H., Reiter W., Skalicki P., Vogl G., Weinzierl P., Zeilinger A. "Future scientific use of european neutron and photon sources" (1990) In: "Symposium" - Krems, Austria, 1990-09-24/26        
7- Eder K., Gruber M., Zeilinger A., Gähler R., Mampe W., Drexel W. "The new very-cold-neutron optics facility at ILL" (1989) Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res. A 284, 171-175. DOI: 10.1016/0168-9002(89)90273-8
8- Gruber M., Eder K., Zeilinger A., Gähler R., Mampe W. "A phase-grating interferometer for very cold neutrons" (1989) Phys. Lett. A 140, 363-367. DOI: 10.1016/0375-9601(89)90068-6
9- Zeilinger A., Gähler R., Shull C.G., Treimer W., Mampe W. "Single- and double-slit diffraction of neutrons" (1988) Rev. Mod. Phys. 60, 1067-1073. DOI: 10.1103/RevModPhys.60.1067
10- Klein A.G., Zeilinger A. "Wave optics with cold neutrons" (1984) J. phys., Colloq. 45, C3/239-C3/242. DOI: 10.1051/jphyscol:1984340
11- Badurek G., Rauch H., Summhammer J., Kischko U., Zeilinger A. "Direct verification of the quantum spin-state superposition law" (1983) J. Phys. A 16, 1133-1139. DOI: 10.1088/0305-4470/16/6/008
12- Summhammer J., Badurek G., Rauch H., Kischko U., Zeilinger A. "Direct observation of fermion spin superposition by neutron interferometry" (1983) Physical Review A 27, 2523-2532. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevA.27.2523
13- Zeilinger A., Gähler R., Shull C.G., Treimer W. "Experimental status and recent results of neutron interference optics" (1982) AIP Conference Proceedings 89, 93-99. DOI: 10.1063/1.33670
14- Gähler R., Klein A.G., Zeilinger A. "Neutron optical tests of nonlinear wave mechanics" (1981) Phys. Rev. A 23, 1611-1617. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevA.23.1611
15- Klein A.G., Opat G.I., Cimmino A., Zeilinger A., Treimer W., Gähler R. "Neutron propagation in moving matter: The Fizeau experiment with massive particles" (1981) Phys. Rev. Lett.. 46, 1551-1554. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.46.1551
16- Badurek G., Rauch H., Zeilinger A. "Dynamic concepts in neutron polarization" (1980) Z Phy. B 38, 303-311. DOI: 10.1007/BF01315322
17- Badurek G., Rauch H., Zeilinger A. "Neutron phase-echo concept and a proposal for a dynamical neutron polarisation method" (1980) Lect. Notes Phys. 128, 136-147. DOI: 10.1007/3-540-10004-0_27
18- Rauch H., Seidl E., Zeilinger A., Bauspiess W., Bonse U. "Hydrogen detection in metals by neutron interferometry" (1978) Journal of Applied Physics 49, 2731-2734. DOI: 10.1063/1.325195
19- Badurek G., Rauch H., Zeilinger A., Bauspiess W., Bonse U. "Measurements of neutron interference and polarization effects caused by nuclear and magnetic interaction" (1976) Phys. Lett. A 56, 244-246. DOI: 10.1016/0375-9601(76)90293-0
20- Badurek G., Rauch H., Zeilinger A., Bauspiess W., Bonse U. "Phase-shift and spin-rotation phenomena in neutron interferometry" (1976) Phys. Rev. D 14, 1177-1181. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.14.1177
21- Rauch H., Badurek G., Bauspiess W., Bonse U., Zeilinger A. "Determination of scattering lenghts and magnetic spin rotations by neutron interferometry" (1976) ERDA Energy Research Abstracts 1027-1041.
22- Rauch H., Zeilinger A., Badurek G., Wilfing A., Bauspiess W., Bonse U. "Verification of coherent spinor rotation of fermions" (1975) Phys. Lett. A 54, 425-427. DOI: 10.1016/0375-9601(75)90798-7


F. Duncan M. Haldane

Nobel Prize in Physics 2016 (shared with D.J. Thouless and M. Kosterlitz)

Duncan received this award for his work on explaining the properties of one-dimensional chains of atomic magnets and of two-dimensional semiconductors. He worked as a post-doctoral researcher in the ILL's Theory group from 1977 to 1981 and published 14 papers. It was during this period that he started to develop his seminal work on one-dimensional quantum liquids and spin chains. Since then, neutron science has played a major role in the experimental investigation of these systems and 20 ILL papers have "Haldane gap" or "Haldane conjecture" in their title.
More details can be found here.

1- Vannimenus J., Kirkpatrick S., Haldane F.D.M., Jayaprakash C. "Ground-state morphology of random frustrated XY systems" (1989) Physical Review B 39, 4634-4643. DOI: 10.1088/0305-4470/15/2/021
2- Haldane F.D.M. "Effective harmonic-fluid approach to low-energy properties of one-dimensional quantum fluids" (1982) Physical Review Letters 48, 1840-1843. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.48.1840
3- Haldane F.D.M. "Quantum fluid ground state of the sine-Gordon model with finite soliton density: Exact results" (1982) Journal of Physics A 15, 507-525. DOI: 10.1088/0305-4470/15/2/021
4- Haldane F.D.M. "'Luttinger liquid theory' of 1-D quantum fluids: I.Properties of the Luttinger model and their extension to general 1D interacting spinless Fermi gas" (1981) Journal of Physics C 14, 2585-2609. DOI: 10.1088/0022-3719/14/19/010
5- Haldane F.D.M. "Demonstration of the 'Luttinger liquid' character of Bethe-ansatz-soluble models of 1-D quantum fluids" (1981) Physics Letters A 81, 153-155. DOI: 10.1016/0375-9601(81)90049-9
6- Haldane F.D.M. "Itinerant magnetism approach for understanding one-dimensional antiferromagnets" (1981) Springer Series in Solid-State Sciences 150-162. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-81639-0_17
7- Haldane F.D.M. "Scaling approach to impurity configurational fluctuations in metals" (1981) In: "Valence Fluctuations In Solids", Falicov L.M. (Eds.)Hanke W. (Eds.) Maple M.B. (Eds.)(North Holland Publishing Company), pp.153-127.
8- Haldane F.D.M., Villain J. (1981) "Commensurate-incommensurate transitions of physisorbed films on anisotropic substrates" (1981) Journal de Physique 42, 1673-1690. DOI: 10.1051/jphys:0198100420120167300
9- Licciardello D.C., Stein D.L., Haldane F.D.M. "Excitations and metastability in amorphous semiconductors" (1981) Philosophical Magazine B 43, 189-201. DOI: 10.1080/13642818108221894
10- Haldane F.D.M. "'Solidification' in a soluble model of bosons on a one-dimensional lattice : the 'boson-hubbard chain'" (1980) Physics Letters A 80, 281-283. DOI: 10.1016/0375-9601(80)90022-5
11- Haldane F.D.M. "General relation of correlation exponents and spectral properties of one-dimensional Fermi systems:Application to the anisotropic S=1/2 Heisenberg chain" (1980) Physical Review Letters 45, 1358-1362. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.45.1358
12- Haldane F.D.M. "Coupling between charge and spin degrees of freedom in the one-dimensional Fermi gas with backscattering" (1979) Journal of Physics C 12, 4791-4799. DOI: 10.1088/0022-3719/12/22/020
13- Haldane F.D.M. "Theory of the atomic limit of the Anderson model: I.Perturbation expansions re-examined" (1978) Journal of Physics C 11, 5015-5034. DOI: 10.1088/0022-3719/11/24/030
14- Haldane F.D.M. "Scaling theory of the asymmetric Anderson model" (1977) Physical Review Letters 40, 416-419. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.40.416

Ada Yonath and Venkatraman Ramakrishnan

Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2009 (shared with T. Steitz)

Ada Yonath, Venky Ramakrishnan and Thomas A. Steitz received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for solving the high-resolution structure of the ribosome using X-ray crystallography.
The ILL contributed to a certain degree to this achievement since low-resolution structures of the ribosome, or part of it [1,2,3], obtained using neutrons were used alongside the early X-ray work. Neutron measurements were performed on instruments DB21 (low-resolution neutron diffraction, now decommissioned) and D22 (small-angle neutron scattering).
Furthermore, since the dynamics of conformational changes of the ribosome play a key role in its biological activity, A. Yonath and her coworkers also studied this aspect using neutron time-of-flight measurements on the ILL instruments IN5 and IN16[4].

1- Roth M., Pebay-Peyroula E., Zaytzev-Bashan A., Volkmann N., Berkovitch-Yellin Z., Agmon I., Franceschi F., Lewit-Bentley A., Yonath A. "On low-resolution phasing of neutron diffraction data collected from ribosomal crystals" In: "Biological Structure and Dynamics - Proceedings of the Ninth Conversation", Sarma R.H. (Eds.)Sarma M.H. (Eds.)(Adenine Press, 1996) pp.15-24.
2- Moore P.B, Engleman D.M., Langer J.A., Ramakrishnan V.R., Schindler D.G., Schoenborn B.P., Sillers I.Y. and Yakubi S (1984) in "Neutrons in Biology", B.P. Schoenborn, Ed. Plenum Press, New-York.
3- M. S. Capel, D.M. Engelman, B.R. Freeborn, M.K. Jeldgaard, J. A. Langer, V. Ramakrishnan, G. Schindler, D.K. Schneider, B.P. Schoenborn, I.-Y. Sillers, S. Yabuki And P. B. Moore, "A Complete Mapping of the Proteins in the Small Ribosomal Subunit of Escherichia coli", (1987) Science, 238, 1403-1406, DOI: 10.1126/science.3317832
4- Zaccaï G., Natali F., Peters J., Rihova M., Zimmerman E., Ollivier J., Combet J., Maurel M.C., Bashan A., Yonath A., "The fluctuating ribosome: Thermal molecular dynamics characterized by neutron scattering", Scientific Reports 6, 37138-1-37138-7 (2016)

Clifford G. Shull

Nobel Prize in Physics 1994 (shared with B.N. Brockhouse)

Clifford Glenwood Shull was awarded the Nobel Prize, together with Bertram Brockhouse, for his pioneering work on the development of neutron scattering at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, long before the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) came into being. Shull's main collaboration with the ILL was in the years 1982 to 1988. Quantum mechanical predictions for matter-wave diffraction are extremely important for physics as a whole. Shull was therefore closely involved in a series of highly accurate diffraction experiments using very cold neutrons (VCN) and the comparison of the results achieved with theoretical predictions. The measurements were performed on beam H18 at the ILL and they confirmed the accuracy of the predictions [1].
His co-author, Roland Gähler, remembers him as "the most impressive experimenter I ever met. He gave the impression of having an infinite amount of time for measuring everything, and by taking his time he was finally quicker than all the others, because he had to do everything only once." [2]

1- Zeilinger A., Gähler R., Shull C.G., Treimer W., Mampe W. "Single- and double-slit diffraction of neutrons.", Reviews of Modern Physics 60, 1067-1073 (1988)
DOI: 10.1103/RevModPhys.60.1067
2- Roland Gähler, private communication, 18 July 2022.

Georges Charpak

Nobel Prize in Physics 1992

Georges Charpak was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his invention of the multiwire proportional chamber, making several important discoveries in particle physics possible, in particular the observation of the W and Z bosons. A MWPC operates in proportional mode. At the same time, a CEA-CENG (DN and LETI) team was developing a Multi Wire Counter which operated in ionization mode. This detector performed less well than the MWPC, in particular the detection efficiency and count rate capability were lower. In the early stages of this development work (in the 1970s), the ILL and LETI (CEA-CENG) teams therefore collaborated with Charpak on the MWPC [1]. For about ten years, Charpak also acted as an expert for the ILL for neutron detector projects.

1- Melchart G., Charpak G., Sauli F., Petersen G., Jacobe J. "The multistep avalanche chamber as a detector for thermal neutrons" (1981) Nuclear Instruments and Methods 186, 613-620.  DOI:

Pierre Gilles de Gennes

Nobel Prize in Physics 1991

One of the great achievements of Pierre-Gilles de Gennes (University of Orsay, France) is his famous “reptation” model [1], which describes the serpentine motion of a polymer chain within a “tangle” of surrounding polymer chains. The first experimental confirmation of this model came in 1990 from neutron spin-echo (NSE) experiments on the ILL instrument IN11 [2]. This is because the reptation motion of long molecules is so slow that, at that time, only NSE spectrometry was capable of observing it. Later on, on the basis of NSE observations of the motion of a single molecule within a polymer melt [3], the initial model was further refined to better account for the mechanisms limiting the topological chain confinement in polymer melts.

1- P. G. DeGennes, J. Physique France 42, 735 (1981). DOI: 10.1051/jphys:01981004205073500.
2- D. Richter, B. Farago, L. J. Fetters, J. S. Huang, B. Ewen, and C. Lartigue (1990) Phys. Rev. Lett. 64, 1389-1392. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.64.1389
3- A. Wischnewski, M. Monkenbusch, L. Willner, D. Richter, A. E. Likhtman, T. C. B. McLeish, and B. Farago (2002) Phys. Rev. Lett. 88, 058301. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.88.058301.

Wolfgang Paul

Nobel Prize in Physics 1989 (shared with N.F. Ramsey and H.G. Dehmelt)

Wolfgang Paul (University of Bonn  and CERN) won the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physics (jointly with Norman Ramsey) for inventing the so-called "Paul traps" or "ion traps" based on the use of a quadrupole electric field to store charged particles in a small volume.
Paul had the idea to extend his trap to the neutron, which is electrically neutral but has a magnetic dipole moment. His work can be summarised as follows [1]:
"In this case, sextupole rather than quadrupole fields were needed to act on the magnetic moment of the neutron. He built such a trap, NESTOR [2], which was installed in a neutron beam at the Institut Laue-Langevin in Grenoble. Paul, and a small team from Bonn, which included his two sons Stephan and Lorenz, both physicists, carried out a precision measurement of the lifetime of free propagating neutrons [3,4] and determined its gravitational mass by seeing the neutrons fall inside the trap. Knowing the exact neutron lifetime is relevant to particle physics, in particular to precision tests of the Standard Model, as well as in astrophysics, because it governs the near equilibrium of protons and neutrons in the primordial phase of nucleosynthesis. The experiment was carried out in 1989 and resulted in the most precise measurement of the lifetime of the neutron at this time."
SuperSUN, a new Ultra Cold Neutron (UCN) source, is being built (2022) at the ILL which makes use of a sextupole magnetic trap inherited from the pioneering work of Wolgang Paul and his collaborators.

1- <>
2- Kuegler K.J., Paul W., Trinks U. - "Properties of straight and curved neutron guide tubes" (1980) Zeitschrift für Physik B 39, 361-370. DOI: 10.1016/0168-9002(85)90266-9
3- Kuegler K.J., Moritz K., Paul W., Trinks U. - "NESTOR: a magnetic storage ring for slow neutrons" Nucl. Instrum. Methods 228, 240-258 (1985). DOI: 10.1016/0168-9002(85)90266-9
4- Paul W., Anton F., Paul L., Paul S., Mampe W. - "Measurement of the neutron lifetime in a magnetic storage ring." Z. Phys. C - Particles and Fields C 45, 25-30 (1989). DOI: 10.1007/BF01556667
5- Anton F., Paul W., Mampe W., Paul L., Paul S. - "Measurement of the neutron lifetime by magnetic storage of free neutrons", Nucl. Instrum. Methods. Phys. Res. A 284, 101-107 (1989). DOI: 10.1016/0168-9002(89)90258-1

Norman Ramsey

Nobel Prize in Physics 1989 (shared with W. Paul and H.G. Dehmelt)

Norman Ramsey collaborated with the ILL from 1973 to about 1990. Together with his collaborators, he did some impressive work using the high neutron flux provided by the ILL's reactor, and this played a major role in the success and development of experiments with cold and ultracold neutrons (UCN) at the RHF. Historically, Ramsey experiments with neutrons began at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. They were moved to the ILL to take advantage of the higher fluxes available at the ILL: the H18 beam tube, PN5 (IH3 beam tube), the first ILL UCN source and then the even more powerful “Steyerl turbine" (PF2). A famous aspect of Ramsey's work is the search for a neutron electric dipole moment (nEDM), which still represents one of the main applications of the famous “Ramsey technique” (separated oscillatory field method) for which he obtained the Nobel Prize in 1989. A non-vanishing value of the nEDM would violate time-reversal invariance and this would help to understand the apparent matter-antimatter asymmetry in our universe. The search for a neutron electric dipole moment still continues today with, for example, the panEDM experiment which is currently being built on SuperSUN, an advanced new UCN source. Ramsey and his collaborators also measured the neutron magnetic moment with great accuracy and this is very important for all the neutron physics and techniques where magnetism is involved. Ramsey's contribution to the observation of parity non-conserving neutron spin rotation is another example of the wide spectrum of fundamental physics experiments in which he was involved.
Two of Ramsey's collaborators (Geoffrey Greene and Bob Golub) gave us a their recollection of the work with him at the ILL.
Two of Ramsey's PhD students were awarded prestigious prizes for work which included research conducted during their time at the ILL.
2020 - Geoffrey Greene was awarded the prestigious Bonner Prize by the APS. "Geoff Greene’s lifetime is inextricably linked to that of the neutron." He worked at the ILL with Ramsey from 1975 (magnetic moment of the neutron, search for the electric dipole moment of the neutron). In the mid-eighties, he collaborated (as member of the NIST group around Dick Deslattes) with H. Bőrner, E. Kessler and S. Dewey on the installation at the ILL and first measurements with the double crystal spectrometer GAMS4 (now decommissioned). He stopped active participation in research at the ILL in 1995.
2021 - Blayne Heckel was awarded the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. He worked at the ILL with Ramsey from 1980 to 1983 on the instrument S43 (H142 neutron guide) and collaborated with the ILL until 2014.

1- Ramsey N.F. "Electric dipole moment of the neutron" (1990) Annual Review of Nuclear and Particle Science 40, 1-14. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.ns.40.120190.000245
2- Smith K.F., Crampin N., Pendlebury J.M., Richardson D.J., Shiers D., Green K., Kilvington A.I., Moir J., Prosper H.B., Thompson D., Ramsey N.F., Heckel B.R., Lamoreaux S.K., Ageron P., Mampe W., Steyerl A. "A search for the electric dipole moment of the neutron" (1990) Physics Letters B 234, 191-196. DOI: 10.1016/0370-2693(90)92027-G
3- Ramsey N.F. "The electric dipole moment of the neutron" (1988) Physica Scripta T22, 140-143. DOI:
4- Ramsey N.F. "Search for a neutron electric dipole moment" (1986) In: "Weak and electromagnetic interactions in nuclei", Klapdor H.V. (Eds.)(Springer Verlag) pp.861-865. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-71689-8_171
5- Ramsey N.F. "Neutron magnetic resonance" (1985) Annales de Physique 10, 945-953. DOI:
6- Heckel B., Forte M., Ramsey N.F., Greene G.L., Green K., Byrne J., Pendlebury J.M. "Parity non-conserving neutron spin rotation" (1984) Journal de Physique. Colloques 45, C3/89-C3/92. DOI: 10.1051/jphyscol:1984318
7- Heckel B., Forte M., Schaerpf O., Green K., Greene G.L., Ramsey N.F., Byrne J., Pendlebury J.M. "Measurement of parity nonconserving neutron spin rotation in lanthanum" (1984) Physical Review C 29, 2389-2391. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevC.29.2389
8- Pendlebury J.M., Smith K.F., Golub R., Byrne J., McComb T.J.L., Sumner T.J., Burnett S.M., Taylor A.R., Heckel B., Ramsey N.F., Green K., Morse J., Kilvington A.I., Baker C.A., Clark S.A., Mampe W., Ageron P., Miranda R. "Search for a neutron electric dipole moment" (1984) Physics Letters B 136, 327-330. DOI: 10.1016/0370-2693(84)92013-6
9- Greene G.L., Ramsey N.F., Mampe W., Pendlebury J.M., Smith K., Dress W.B., Miller P.D., Perrin P. "An improved derived value for the neutron magnetic moment in nuclear magnetons" (1982) Metrologia 18, 93. DOI: 10.1088/0026-1394/18/2/005
10- Heckel B., Ramsey N.F., Green K., Greene G.L., Gähler R., Schaerpf O., Forte F., Dress W.B., Miller P.D., Golub R., Byrne J., Pendlebury J.M. "A measurement of parity non-conserving neutron spin rotation in lead and tin" (1982) Physics Letters B 119, 298-302. DOI: 10.1016/0370-2693(82)90674-8
11- Ramsey N.F. "Electric-dipole moments of elementary particles" (1982) Reports on Progress in Physics 45, 95-113. DOI: 10.1088/0034-4885/45/1/003
12- Forte M., Heckel B.R., Ramsey N.F., Green K., Greene G.L., Byrne J., Pendlebury J.M. "First measurement of parity-nonconserving neutron spin-echo rotation: The tin isotopes" (1981) Physical Review Letters 45, 2088-2092. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.45.2088
13- Greene G.L., Ramsey N.F., Mampe W., Pendlebury J.M., Smith K., Dress W.B., Miller P.D., Perrin P. "Measurement of the neutron magnetic moment" (1979) Physical Review D 20, 2139-2153. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.20.2139
14- Ramsey N.F. "Dipole moments and spin rotations of the neutron" (1978) Physics Reports 43, 409-421. DOI: 10.1016/0370-1573(78)90179-5
15- Dress W.B., Miller P.D., Pendlebury J.M., Perrin P., Ramsey N.F. "Search for an electric dipole moment of the neutron" (1977) Physical Review D 15, 9-21. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.15.9
16- Greene G.L., Ramsey N.F., Mampe W., Pendlebury J.M., Smith K., Dress W.D., Miller P.D., Perrin P. "A new measurement of the magnetic moment of the neutron" (1977) Physics Letters B 71, 297-300. DOI: 10.1016/0370-2693(77)90220-9
17- Dress W.B., Miller P.D., Ramsey N.F. "Improved upper limit for the electric dipole moment of the neutron" (1973) Physical Review D 7, 3147-3149. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.7.3147

Rudolf Ludwig Mössbauer

Nobel Prize in Physics 1961 (shared with R. Hofstadter); Röntgen prize 1961

Rudolf Ludwig Mössbauer is best known for his 1957 discovery of recoilless nuclear resonance fluorescence, the so-called "Mössbauer effect", the basis for Mössbauer spectroscopy, which is unique in its sensitivity to subtle changes in the chemical environment of certain nuclei in solids.
He was the ILL Director from 1972 to 1977 but afterwards was involved in particle physics experiments. For example, he was part of the team that first measured a negative deviation of the reactor antineutrino production rate [1] now known as "the reactor antineutrino anomaly". The study of the latter culminated almost 4 decades later in the search for a sterile neutrino with the STEREO experiment at the ILL [2]. Mössbauer was also involved in the search for the axion [3], a search which still continues today at the ILL and in other labs.

1- "Search for neutrino oscillations at a fission reactor" Kwon H., Boehm F., Hahn A.A., Henrikson H.E., Vuilleumier J.L., Cavaignac J.F., Koang D.H., Vignon B., Feilitzsch F.V., Moessbauer R.L. (1981) Physical Review D 24, 1097-1111. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.24.1097
2- "Joint measurement of the 235U antineutrino spectrum by PROSPECT and STEREO", H. Almazán et al. (2022) Phys. Rev. Lett. 128, 081802. DOI:
3- "An experimental limit on production of axions in a fission reactor", Vuilleumier J.L., Boehm F., Hahn A.A., Kwon H., Feilitzsch F.V., Moessbauer R.L. (1981) Physics Letters B 101, 341-343.

Some current and former ILL scientists who have been awarded scientific prizes



Giovanna Fragneto
Giovanna joined the ILL as a scientist in 1997. She was Instrument Scientist on the small-angle diffractometer D16 and on the reflectometer D17 as well as project leader for the construction of the reflectometer FIGARO.  In 2008 she was appointed Senior Fellow in soft matter and was responsible for setting up the Partnership for Soft Condensed Matter (PSCM) with the ESRF. In 2015 she became Group Leader of the Large Scale Structures group. More recently she pursued the creation of the L-Lab, a deuterated lipid extraction facility at the ILL.
During her time at the ILL, Giovanna worked in the field of biomembranes and never stopped her Local Contact duties. As a result, she was author of more than 170 publications and invited speaker at more than 100 national and international conferences and schools.
In December 2022, Giovanna left the ILL to take on the role of Science Director at ESS, the future European neutron spallation source.
2023 - Giovanna received the JCIS Darsh Wasan Award, for her "outstanding contributions related to the use of neutron scattering, particularly reflectometry, for the structural characterization of model biological membranes, with the aim of understanding phenomena at cell surfaces".
2006 - Giovanna received the RSC B.T.M. Willis Prize, a prize awarded by the Neutron Scattering Group - a joint Interest Group of the Institute of Physics and the Royal Society of Chemistry  - in recognition of her "outstanding neutron scattering science. The prize was awarded for research on model cell membrane systems".

©2022 ILL
Alessandro Tengattini
Alessandro arrived at ILL in 2015 as a postdoc when he started the construction of D50-Tomo, which later became NeXT-Grenoble. In 2018 he became Joint Scientist ILL/UGA, in 2020 he became Associate Professor at the University Grenoble Alpes and was awarded a Chaire UGA/ILL “Imaging for Mechanics”.
2023 - Alessandro was awarded the ENSA Neutron Instrumentation and Innovation Award "in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the development of Neutron Imaging, in particular for realising the NeXT-Grenoble instrument at the ILL and perfecting all its capabilities to the highest level that is achievable".

@2022 A.Tengattini

Navid Qureshi
Navid is a crystallographer who was Instrument Responsible of the 4-circle diffractometer D10 from 2014 to 2017 and has been Instrument Responsible of the polarised neutron diffractometer D3 since 2017. He is the author of Mag2Pol, which is a state-of-the-art software program for neutron data processing and for solving magnetic structures.
2022 - Navid was awarded the  Wolfram-Prandl-Prize. The German Committee Research with Neutrons (KFN) recognised "the enormous progress he has achieved in the use of polarised neutrons. By combining different methods, he was able to gain new insights into complex magnetic phenomena".


Lukáš Gajdos
Lukáš came to the ILL in 2017 as an Erasmus student trainee and stayed on to complete a PhD in the Life Sciences group under the supervision of Trevor Forsyth, Juliette Devos and Matthew Blakeley from ILL and Anne Imberty from CERMAV. During his PhD Lukáš studied the protein-carbohydrate interactions involved in bacterial infections to gain structural insights into bacterial-host recognition using mostly neutrons. He is now a post-doc in the LSS group working on radiation damage in protein crystals using both neutron and X-ray crystallography.
2022 - The eleventh Erwin Félix Lewy Bertaut Prize was awarded to Lukáš in recognition of "his exceptional research on the characterisation of the interaction of lectins with sugars by neutron diffraction and all the experimental difficulties that he has overcome to obtain these results".


Sabrina Disch
Sabrina did a post-doc at the ILL under the supervision of Albrecht Wiedenmann, and is still a core user of the ILL. The neutron experiments she led at the ILL were key to the success highlighted by the Wolfram-Prandl-Prize.
2020 -The Wolfram-Prandl-Prize  was awarded to Sabrina for "her outstanding research results on the understanding of structure, spin structure and spin dynamics of magnetic nanoparticles, their self-organisation and the resulting forming structures, achieved with innovative neutron scattering methods". See here for more details.


Markus Appel
Markus first stayed at the ILL as an intern during his physics studies in 2009, and came back in 2011 for his PhD project under the supervision of Bernhard Frick in collaboration with Bernd Stühn at the TU Darmstadt, studying the molecular ring rotation of Ferrocen and Ferrocen-containing polymers with Quasielastic neutron scattering. He then moved to working in the field of neutron instrumentation and helped implementing the BATS option and the GaAs demonstrator on IN16B as a PostDoc in collaboration with Andreas Magerl (FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg) from 2014 on, before becoming an ILL staff scientist and instrument responsible of the IN16B backscattering spectrometer in 2019.
2019 - Markus was awarded the inaugural ENSA Neutron Instrumentation and Innovation Award for "ground-breaking advances of the neutron back-scattering technique leading to extended dynamic range, higher resolution and better signal-to-noise on the IN16B spectrometer at ILL. These span from conceptual changes such as moving from monochromator to time-of-flight, over clever rephasing of choppers to achieve ultra-low background, to the material and mechanical challenge of implementing GaAs analyzers. Together these improvements to the IN16B spectrometer at ILL has enabled a wide range of exciting science by a large number of user groups – perfectly embellishing the spirit of the Neutron Instrumentationand Innovation Award".

©2022 ILL

Bruno Desbrière
Bruno arrived at the ILL in 2004 and, until his retirement in 2020, Bruno was the deputy head of the reactor and, as such, he managed projects crucial to the survival of the RHF. Let us quote for example, the design and the development of the CRU (ultimate reflooding circuit), the PCS III (emergency control room) and the reactor driving simulator. He also carried out the procedure for the extension of the operating licence of the reactor.
2021 - Bruno was the co-recipient of the Le Grand Prix SFEN, an award for (as translated from French) "The contribution of advanced analysis methods for the seismic safety of nuclear civil engineering facilities in the post-Fukushima context."

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William (Bill) George Stirling
Bill's research activities have ranged across magnetic structure and excitations, magnetic thin films and multilayers, the dynamics of liquid 4He and liquid 3He, and neutron then synchrotron X-ray scattering techniques. He also conceived, designed and supervised the construction of advanced instrumentation for neutron inelastic scattering at ILL and for X-ray scattering at universities and the ESRF (the UK-CRG, XMaS). He was Professor of Physics at Keele University and then at the University of Liverpool between 1987 and 2000, and Director General of the ESRF from 2001 until 2008. Bill was appointed ILL Director from 2014 to 2016.
2018 - Bill was awarded the IOP President's Medal for "services to physics, especially in the application of X-ray and neutron scattering, and in particular for his contributions at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility and at the Institut Laue-Langevin, the French-German-British high-flux reactor centre, both in Grenoble"
More on this.
Since 2004, Bill has received many other prizes and honours not listed here.

©2007 ILL, Serge Claisse

Juan Colmenero de Léon
Much of the work honoured by the awarding of the 2017 Walter Hälg Prize to Juan Colmenero  was carried out at the ILL. E.g. the first proof of the quantum rotational tunneling of methyl groups in polymers and other disordered systems resulted from experiments on IN16 and IN5. Similarly, the determination of the relation between the stretched relaxation function and the momentum transfer dependence of the relaxation time was based, among other things, on data from IN16 and IN11.  ILL’s QENS instruments were also decisive for the other studies mentioned by the press release announcing the award.
Juan Colmenero  (UPV/EHU) started his first neutron scattering experiments at the ILL in 1988, extending and combining his previous studies of different spectroscopic methods (e.g. mechanical and broadband dielectric spectroscopy). His early work concerned relaxations in polymers and the glass transition but developed further to other complex soft matter systems. Juan was one of the first to combine his neutron scattering results with extensive MD simulations and dielectric spectroscopy, the latter both carried out at his home lab. His research group rapidly became one of the most active ILL user groups, making use of the full QENS instrument suite at the ILL from NSE and backscattering to time-of-flight (TOF), including polarisation studies on D7.
2017 - The Walter Hälg Prize was awarded to Juan for what was considered his most outstanding contribution in the field of neutron scattering on complex materials such as polymers or soft matter, namely "the creation of a pioneering, unique and robust scientific methodology based on the combination of neutron scattering with different spectroscopic methods and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. He was one of the first to recognize that in intricate soft matter systems often neutrons alone are not enough to tell us 'where the atoms are and what they do' and that neutron scattering and MD simulations are natural partners."

©2017 EHU/EUS

Helmut Rauch
Helmut was professor at the TU Wien but he collaborated for many years with the ILL. He was the creator of the CRG instrument S18, a neutron interferometer, and leader of the group of scientists and students who performed and still perform remarkable fundamental physics experiments on this unique instrument. Helmut was the PhD supervisor of Anton Zeilinger (Nobel Prize winner in 2022).
2015 - Helmut was awarded the ENSA Walter Hälg Prize for "his outstanding and seminal contributions to the fundamental aspects of neutron physics and optics and many related aspects of quantum physics".

©2000 ILL, A. Filhol

Giuseppe (Jo) Zaccaï
Jo Zaccai’s work over the past 40 years has both contributed to and benefited from the remarkable synergies that characterize structural biology research in Grenoble. He has spent his career working first at ILL, as an ILL scientist, then as a CNRS scientist at IBS and, finally, as Senior Fellow for Biology back at ILL. Recruited in 1974, he built D16, the membrane diffractometer. He attracted students to neutron scattering in biology by introducing courses in the physics and biology departments and creating the DEA (Master's) course in biological crystallography at the University of Grenoble. He was part of the team that created the HERCULES training school for young European and non-European scientists. He also organised the re-opening of the IN13 spectrometer as a French-Italian CRG dedicated to biological molecular dynamics.
2013 - Jo was awarded the ENSA Walter Hälg Prize in recognition of "his pioneering contributions to the application of neutron scattering to a range of biophysical and biochemical problems in biology, which has provided important insights in the debate on the relationship between molecular structure and dynamics and biological function, and for his leading advocacy of the role of neutron scattering in biological research".


Gerry H. Lander
Gerry worked at the Argonne National Laboratory for 20 years, was Director of the IPNS neutron source (1981-1986) and Director of the Institute for Transuranium Elements (a European Commission Laboratory) in Karlsruhe. He first came to the ILL on a sabbatical in 1976 and although he was Instrument Responsible of D15 (single crystal neutron diffractomter, now decommissioned) for just 18 months, he is so often at the ILL that some people may think he is a member of ILL staff! Gerry's main interests are focussed on the science of actinide (5f electrons) elements and compounds. He has conducted experiments, and published articles, on 16 instruments at the ILL, a record unlikely to be equaled any time soon! He was also the founding editor of Neutron News.
2011 - Gerry was awarded the ENSA Walter Hälg Prize.

2002 G.Lander archives

Juan Rodriguez Carvajal
Working at the ILL, then at the LLB, then again at the ILL, most of Juan's research work has been, and still is, devoted to producing software for X-ray and neutron diffraction, such as his famous FullProf Suite. Juan has an impressive list of papers to his name on strongly correlated electron systems, such as oxides and intermetallics, presenting novel structural and magnetic properties (exotic magnetic ordering, charge ordering, metal-insulator transitions, multiferroics, etc.), many of the papers with a high impact factor. He is the author of the ILL's most cited paper: “Recent Advances in Magnetic Structure Determination by Neutron Powder Diffraction”, Physica B 192, 55-69 (1993). DOI: 10.1016/0921-4526(93)90108-I
2008 - The EPDIC Award for Distinguished Powder Diffractionist was awarded to Juan for "outstanding results and/or continued, important contributions to the field of powder diffraction". DOI: 10.1524/zksu.2009.0078
2011 - Juan received the Barrett Award of the Denver X-ray Conference for “exceptional contributions to powder diffraction”.

©2009 ILL, A. Filhol

Michael Marek Koza
Before joining the ILL as instrument scientist on the time-of-flight instrument IN6 (now SHARP) in 2000, Michael started his career studying morphous water ice phases at the University of Dortmund and the Technical University of Darmstadt and has continued this research not only at the ILL but also at other neutron sources and at the ESRF. He has since extended his scientific interest to thermoelectric materials. Today he is co-responsible on the time-of-flight spectrometer PANTHER.
2008 - Michael was awarded the Wolfram-Prandl-Prize for "his work on the structure and dynamics of amorphous ice phases".


Louis-Pierre Regnault
For many years Louis-Pierre Regnault was Instrument Responsible of IN22 - a CRG-B owned by the CEA - and made considerable improvements to this instrument (neutron resonance spin echo (NRSE), spherical polarization analysis (CRYOPAD), etc.).
2006 -  Louis-Pierre was awarded the Langevin prize of the French Académie des Sciences for "his work devoted to the study of electron systems strongly correlated by the inelastic scattering of neutrons. Louis-Pierre Regnault carried out pioneering work in the field of spin chains, notably the first experimental determination of a so-called "Haldane" gap in chains of integer spins as well as a remarkable diffraction study on the spin- Peierls of copper-germanium compounds under strong magnetic field and in the presence of silicon doping. Including his role in the study of superconductors at high critical temperatures and cuprate spin ladders, Louis-Pierre Regnault is unquestionably one of the best and most productive neutronicians in France."

©2000 ILL, A. Filhol

Mike Pendlebury <>
In 1973, the UK decided to join forces with France and Germany in the operation of the high-flux reactor facility at the ILL. With Norman Ramsey’s encouragement, a new UCN source at ILL was designed and installed, and new precision experiments were conducted to investigate the fundamental properties of neutrons, in particular the neutron EDM. Mike’s work over a career spanning more than 50 years led to a series of precision measurements on the neutron EDM, increasing the sensitivity by a factor of 10 each decade. This work continues around the world with new measurements, at both the ILL and the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) in Zurich, using apparatus and techniques designed, built and developed by Mike in the 1980s.
2003 - Mike was joint winner of the High Energy Particle Physics prize of the Institute of Physics.
2007 - Mike was joint winner of the Chadwick Medal for "his work on the neutron EDM".

© Oxford University

Roger Arthur Cowley <>
Roger (University of Oxford, University of Edinburgh) made his name in the field of neutron scattering. This work led to the study of phase transitions. He himself (1974 to 2012) and his group were regular users of ILL instruments. He was a member of the Science Advisory Committees for the ILL.
2003 - Roger was awarded the ENSA Walter Hälg Prize .
He also received several other awards during his career.

©2016 Oxford University

Mechthild Enderle
Mechthild is responsible of instrument of the TAS spectrometer IN20. She developped PASTIS a magnetic device for wide-angle XYZ polarization analysis.
2002 - Mechthild was awarded the Wolfram-Prandl-Prize in recognition of "her excellent work on low-dimensional magnetic model systems. She studies quasi-one-dimensional Heisenberg systems with half- and integer spin, whereby the quantum character justifies large differences. For integer spin, she investigated the occurence of a Haldane gap in the excitation spectrum. In half-integer spin systems, ordered spin Peierls dimer states were found as the ground state with highly interesting excitations".

©2008 ILL, Serge Claisse

V.V. Nesvizhevsky, H.G. Börner, A.K. Petukhov and 8 non-ILL authors [5]
Here the award went to the team of the breakthrough experiment GRANIT I, an UCN (Ultra Cold Neutron) gravitational spectrometer.
2002 - The  First Prize of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research was awarded for the "Theoretical prediction and experimental study of quantum states of the neutron in the gravitational field of the Earth". This work was also selected as “Event of the Day in the World” by NASA on 21 January 2002; "3rd best work in Physics in the World" in 2002 by Chinese Academy of Sciences.
2002 - Valery Nesvizhevsky was also awarded the Hendrik de Waard prize for "The discovery of gravitational quantum states of particles", the best work of the year 2002 in the world in natural sciences.

©2011 ILL, A. Filhol

Penelope Jane Brown <>
Jane arrived at the ILL in 1974, where she remained until 2012. During this time, she performed an impressive quantity of experimental work in neutron crystallography, in particular using polarised neutron diffraction techniques for measuring magnetisation densities. She participated in the development of spherical neutron polarimetry invented by F. Tasset. The main tool of this technique is the CRYOPAD (CRYOgenic Polarisation Analysis Device), a device which is now used in several neutron facilities.
2001 - Jane was awarded the ENSA Walter Hälg Prize in recognition of "her contributions to neutrons in Europe".
2002 - Jane was the first woman to win the Institute of Physics Michael Faraday Medal

©2000 ILL, A.Filhol

Julia S. Higgins
Julia was a physicist on the staff of ILL from 1973 to 1976. During that time she was a local contact for the SANS instrument D11 and her own research involved small angle scattering from polymers using D11 and quasi elastic scattering using IN5, IN10, and eventually IN11. In 1976 she left ILL and joined the academic staff in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London where she remained for the rest of her career. For many years after she moved to London her major research projects were based at ILL using all the small angle and quasi elastic scattering spectrometers as these subsequently developed. The number of here ILL papers is in excess of 70.
She got several awards all undoubtedly based on the work she carried out at ILL.
2001 - Dame of the British Empire (UK)
2003 - Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur (France)
2006 - Lauréate du Prix Holweck (a joint prize of the Institute of Physics (UK) and the French Physical Society)
2020 - Sam Edwards Medal and Prize of the Institute of Physics (UK) for which the citation was “For her pioneering work in neutron scattering applied to the understanding of polymer structure and dynamics

2020 Julia S. Higgins (jpg - 809 Ki)
J.S.Higgins in 2020, with here permission

Werner Heil
Werner (University of Mainz), together with colleagues from the ILL, developped the production of dense polarized 3He based on compression of optically pumped gas. This led to the development of efficient spin filters, which are one of the major tools for modern neutron physics, although Werner also applied this technique to medical tomography.
1998 - The Körber European Science prize was awarded to Werner in recognition of his work on magnetic resonance tomography with helium-3.


Anton Oed
Anton arrived at the ILL in 1974 and first worked on the ILL instrument Cosi Fan Tutte (PN8). In 1983, he became head of the ILL's neutron detector group together with Peter Geltenbort. The  Anton Oed prize was created in 2019 to honour his memory. The prize aims to promote an innovative spirit and the ability to solve technical challenges,
1997 - Anton was awadred the Robert Wichard Pohl medal by the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft for "the invention of the micro-strip gas chambers (MSGCs) at the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) in 1988. Their introduction was a decisive breakthrough in the field of radiation detectors. It demonstrated a significant gain in spatial resolution and counting rate, and the invention immediately stimulated the development of a new class of micro-pattern gas detectors (MPGDs)". See here for more details.

©2000 ILL, A.Filhol

Marc de Boissieu
Marc was a PhD student at the ILL from 1987 to 1989, after which he joined the CNRS at the LTPCM (now SIMaP) in 1989, while still being very much involved in the ILL.
Marc first used powder diffraction (D2B) and contrast isomorphism proposed by Christian Janot and Jean-Marie Dubois to determine the structure of the icosahedral AlMnSi phase, with the help of Jean Pannetier. Using D4 data and the same method, he studied the short range order in quasicrystals. When the first single crystals became available, he studied their structure, phonons (TAS spectrometer IN8) and periodic approximants. He also worked on the stability of one of the type of quasicrystals, the icosahedral phase.
1992 - Marc was awarded the CNRSBronze medal (after leaving the ILL) for "being one of the main authors of the work carried out in Grenoble on quasicrystals. His name is attached in particular to the advances made by neutron scattering: position of atoms, description of vibrations, phase changes".


Christian Janot
Former Director of the Materials Physics Laboratory (Nancy), Christian performed an impressive quantity of work on quasicrystals and initiated their study by neutron diffraction. He performed the first ever studies on the atomic structure of these fascinating materials just after their discovery. From 1982 to 1991, Christian Janot was Senior Scientist at the ILL for small-angle scattering and inelastic time-of-flight scattering. He promoted the technique of neutron scattering in the national and international community of physicists and materials chemists. He also contributed to the organisation of the quasicrystal scientific community at European level.
1995 - Christian was awarded the Prix Aniuta Winter-Klein (Académie des Sciences, France) for "the determination of the atomic structure around the nodes of a quasi-crystal".
1995 - Christian recevied the Médaille Pierre Chevenard (Société Française de Métallurgie et de Matériaux, SF2M)

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©2011 ILL, Serge Claisse

Reinhard Scherm
Reinhard arrived at the ILL in 1968, i.e. four years before the ILL reactor was completed. He is known, for example, for his neutron study of the dynamic properties of liquid helium-3 (a Fermi liquid) using neutron scattering. He was appointed ILL Associate Director (1992-1994) and Director (1994-1997).
1994 - Reinhard was awarded the Gentner-Kastler Preis (German Physical Society (DPG) and Société Française de Physique (SFP))

©2006 ILL, Serge Claisse

Jean Pannetier
Jean was Instrument Responsible of the neutron powder diffractometers D1B and D20. He developed the time-resolved neutron thermo-diffractometry (NTD) method consisting of the continuous data collection of diffraction patterns during the change of sample temperature. He contributed to both the development of the instrumental as well as the data treatment aspects of NTD. His most relevant contribution was the paper: “Structural and Electrochemical Properties of the proton - g-MnO2 system”, Progress in Solid State Chemistry, 23, 1-130 (1995). DOI: 10.1016/0079-6786(94)00005-2
1994 - Jean was awarded the Prix Paul Pascal (Académie des Sciences, France) for "his study of magnetic solids, phase transitions and in situ chemical or electrochemical reactions by real-time neutron diffraction".

©1995 M6 (French TV channel)

Walter Mampe
During his time at the ILL, Walter mainly worked on neutron physics experiments (helium-based ultra-cold neutron source, neutron microscope, measurement of the neutron charge, electric dipole moment and magnetic moment). He was one of the collaborators of the Nobel Prize winners C.G. Shull (1994) and A. Zeilinger (2022).
1991 - Walter shared the Stern-Gerlach Medal with Dirk Dubbers for "precision measurements of the weak coupling constant in beta decay". This is considered to be the most prestigious German award for experimental physicists,

©1972 ILL

Dietrich Jochen (Dirk) Dubbers
Dirk started work at the ILL as a post-doc from 1973 to 1975. He was appointed Senior Scientist (College 3) from 1985 to 1990, and ILL Director from 1999 to 2001. He performed many experiments and worked first on nuclear solid-state physics, then on the role of the neutron in particle physics and cosmology. He was the instigator of the Millennium Programme, which initiated the continuous improvement of ILL's infrastructure and instruments.
1991 - Dirk shared the  Stern-Gerlach Medal (with Walter Mampe), the most prestigious German award for experimental physicists, for "precision measurements of the weak coupling constant in beta decay".

©2012 ILL, Serge Claisse

Hans Börner
Hans arrived at the ILL in 1972 as a PhD student, helping with the construction of the gamma ray spectrometers GAMS 1 and GANS2/3 (PN3). From 1973 to 1978 - as a staff member of the IKP of the KFA Juelich, Germany - he was permanently seconded to the ILL. In 1978 he joined the ILL again directly and became Instrument Responsible of PN3 (staff scientist in 1979). In 1993 he became Head of the Nuclear and Particle Physics (NPP) group until his retirement in 2007.
1990 - Hans was awarded the Röntgen Prize in recognition of "his contributions to ultra-high resolution gamma spectroscopy with double-crystal spectrometers. This spectrometry became a key tool to better understand the structure of the atomic nucleus".

©2001 ILL

Heinz Maier-Leibnitz
Heinz Maier-Leibnitz, co-founder of the ILL, together with Louis Néel (Nobel Prize winner in 1970) and Jules Horowitz [1], was appointed ILL Director from 1967 to 1972. He introduced many innovations such as the neutron guide tubes [3] which greatly helped to make the ILL a success. He received many awards during the course of his career, of which we will mention only one:
1996 – Heinz Maier-Leibnitz was awarded the Stern-Gerlach-Medaille of the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft, the most prestigious German award for experimental physicists.


Roland Currat
Roland joined the ILL in 1970. He contributed to developing the 3-axis spectroscopic technique at ILL (IN8, IN14 now ThALES). He served as 3-axis Instrument Group Leader from 1994 until he retired in 2004. His scientific activities were centered on lattice dynamics and structural phase transitions in a variety of crystalline systems.
1989 - Roland was awarded the Prix Ancel (Société Française de Physique) for "his contribution to the characterization of the excitation spectrum of modulated crystals".


Sergei Vladimirovich Maleyev
Sergei Maleyev (Kurchatov institute, Gatchina) was the first scientist to formulate the general equations describing in detail polarised neutron scattering in different magnetic systems, including the well-known Maleyev-Dyson representation of spin operators. These are extremely important for many polarised neutron experiments performed at the ILL. From 1983 up to his death (2021), Sergei was in close contact with the ILL and its Russian colleagues in the framework of a broad set of neutron experiments on magnetic materials, notably in inhomogeneous, low-dimensional and chiral magnets.
He received several Russian awards (1986, USSR State Prize; 2013, Fock award; 2018, Medal of the ROSNEUTRO)

©2001 ILL, A.Filhol

Ferenc Mezei
Ferenc was physicist at the ILL from 1972 to 1984, where he invented and developped the neutron supermirrors which are so important for modern neutron spectrometers, as well as neutron spin-echo spectroscopy, a very sensitive technique which makes it possible to observe very slow motions in matter (polymer reptation, glass transition,  etc.). Both are much praised and widely used worldwide.
1986 -  Ferenc was awarded the Hewlett-Packard Europhysics Prize for "the invention of neutron spin-echo spectroscopy"
1999 - Ferenc received the inaugural ENSA Walter Hälg Prize.
He has also received many other awards during his career to date.

@2000 ILL, A. Filhol

Philippe Nozières
Philippe arrived at the ILL in 1972, where he worked on the theoretical physics of condenses matter. He remained at the ILL until his retirement in 2000. He was Head of the ILL Theory group for 30 years and also Professor at the Collège de France (1983), member of the French Académie des Sciences (from 1981) and member of the Amercian National Academy of Sciences (from 1991).
1985 - Philippe was awarded the Wolf prize, a prize often considered the most prestigious award in physics and chemistry after the Nobel Prize.
1988 - Philippe was CNRS gold medal winner, the highest scientific research award in France.

©2012 ILL, Serge Claisse

Dieter Richter
During his time at the ILL, Dieter (Forschungszentrum Jülich) mainly worked on the dynamics of polymers using Small Angle Neutron Scattering (SANS) and neutron spin echo (NSE). For example, his work on IN11 demonstrated the validity of the reptation model of the Nobel Prize winner Pierre Gilles de Gennes [4]. Dieter was ILL Senior Scientist from 1985 to 1989 and in 1990 he worked for Jülich to finance in part the NSE instrument IN15. He received many awards, including:
1987 - theWalter Schottky Preis (Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft)
2009 - the ENSA Walter Hälg Prize in recognition of "his coherent work towards understanding the dynamics of polymers and biological macromolecules using high-resolution neutron scattering techniques"


Paul Ageron
The engineer Paul Ageron was involved in the project to create the ILL right from the outset and his contribution to the success of the ILL is outstanding. For example, it was Paul who designed the installation of beam tubes in the D2O vessel of the high-flux reactor. He also designed or helped design the ILL cold sources and UCN sources (PN5 and PF2) and storage devices, among other things. At the ILL, he was famous for his ability to calculate in his head the right orders of magnitude, even for the most complex problems.
1986 - Paul received the Prix Foucault (SFP) which rewards work in applied physics
1996 - Paul was awarded the Prix Frank (Dubna)

©2000 ILL, Serge Claisse

Heinz Jürgen Schulz
When at the ILL (1982-1985) H.J. Schulz performed an impressive theoretical work on the physics of quasi-one-dimenasional organic conductors and superconductors. His main contribution were on the band structure anisotropie, the commensurate-incommensurate transitions the superconductivity mechanism, in these compounds.
1982 - Heinz was awarded the Gay-Lussac-Humboldt Prize created by French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing and his counterpart Chancellor Helmut Schmidt

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Bernard Jacrot
Bernard was the ILL's first French Associate Director (1967-1973) and co-founder of the ILL, together with Heinz Maier-Leibnitz, Louis Néel (Nobel Prize winner in 1970) and Jules Horowitz [1]. Before taking up this position, he was one of the French pioneers in neutron scattering and went on to initiate neutron biology at the ILL, for example using SANS (small-angle neutron scattering) to obtain the low resolution structure of viruses and other biological entities [2].
1980 - Bernard was awarded the Felix Robin prize of the French Société Française de Physique in recognition of "his lifetime achievement in physics"

©1973 ZDF "Die stillen Stars"

[1] "Neutrons for Science", Jacrot B., Ed. EDP Science, 2006 (in French) and 2021 (in English) <>
[2] "The study of biological structures by neutron scattering from solution", Jacrot B., Reports on Progress in Physics 39, 911-953 (1976)
[3] Maier-Leibnitz H. - "Neutron conducting tubes" In: "Neutron capture gamma-ray spectroscopy: Proceedings of the international symposium, held in Studsvik, 11-15 August, 1969", (International Atomic Energy Agency, 1969) pp.93-103. In: "International Symposium on Neutron Capture Gamma-Ray Spectroscopy" - Studsvik, Sweden - 1969-08-11/15
[4] "Direct microscopic observation of the entanglement distance in a polymer melt. " Richter D., Farago B., Fetters L.J., Huang J.S., Ewen B., Lartigue C. (1990) Physical Review Letters 64, 1389-1392. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.64.1389
[5] V.V. Nesvizhevsky, H.G. Boerner, A.K. Petukhov, H. Abele, S. Baessler, F.J. Ruess, T. Stoferle, A. Westphal, A.M. Gagarski, G.A. Petrov, A.V. Strelkov, Quantum states of neutrons in the Earth's gravitational field, Nature 415 (2002) 297-299