Michel Davier receives 2010 André Lagarrigue Prize
Michel Davier, physics professor at the University of Paris-Sud 11 and member of the French Academy of Science, has been awarded the 2010 André Lagarrigue Prize.
This prize, instituted by the Linear Accelerator Laboratory (LAL, CNRS/IN2P3 - University of Paris-Sud 11) at Orsay, France under the aegis of the French Physical Society, is awarded to front-line researchers who have had responsibility for machine and detector construction and derived maximum scientific benefit from such projects, performed in a French laboratory or in close collaboration with French groups. This prize is sponsored jointly by CNRS/IN2P3, CEA, CERN, the Ecole Polytechnique, LAL and Paris Sud 11 University.
Michel Davier shares with André Lagarrigue a worldwide authority in the field of particle physics, a deep understanding of physics and of experimental devices of great complexity and a sincere passion for training young people.
Born in France in 1942, Michel Davier plays a leading role in particle physics, especially within the CELLO (DESY), ALEPH (CERN) and BaBar (SLAC) experiment collaborations. He has been one of the leaders of the French-Italian Virgo project aiming at the detection of gravitational waves with a giant interferometer. From 1985 to 1994, he was director of the Linear Accelerator Laboratory at Orsay. Under his mandate, LAL built LEP (CERN's former collider) preinjector (LIL) and the linear accelerator for CLIO Free-Electron Laser facility in Orsay. He was rewarded the 1991Three Physicists Prize of the école Normale Supérieure de Paris and the 1993 Gentner-Kastler Prize, a joint prize of the German Physical Society and the French Physical Society. In 1996, Michel Davier was elected Member of the French Academy of Sciences.
Michel Davier devotes himself to both theoretical and experimental studies of the strong interaction and has become one of the world's leading experts in this field. Today, thanks to his work on the muon magnetic moment, physicists have strong presumptions that a new physics may exist and experiments at the Large Hadron Collider should confirm it soon. Michel Davier's measurements on the tau lepton, among others, led to the most accurate measurement of the strong interaction coupling, proved the universality of three generations of leptonic particles with respect to the weak interaction, and contributed to indirect constraints on the Higgs boson mass.
The Lagarrigue prize international jury also recognised Michel Davier's passion and talent for teaching and for education outreach. Michel Davier excels in explaining the mysteries of the subatomic world to a large audience, and his talent is revealed in numerous courses, books, radio programmes and public conferences such as at the University of Paris-Sud, the French Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie Museum, and very recently during the first "Nuit des particles" in July 2010, which was organised during the International Conference on High Energy Physics in Paris (ICHEP2010).
The André Lagarrigue prize is awarded every other year, and was created in 2006 in honour of Professor André Lagarrigue, LAL director from 1969 until his untimely death in 1975. In 1973, André Lagarrigue and colleagues working with the Gargamelle bubble chamber at CERN observed for the first time neutral currents - the neutral manifestation of the weak force that had been predicted by electroweak theory. This was an important step towards confirming electroweak unification, a major milestone in the building of particle physics theory.
Michel Davier will receive his award on 26 April 2011 at LAL in Orsay, France.
On the web:
Lagarrigue Prize website: http://events.lal.in2p3.fr/PrixLagarrigue/
Prize announcement: http://events.lal.in2p3.fr/PrixLagarrigue/Documents/AnnoncePrix10GBM.Davier.pdf
2008: Pierre Darriulat, professor of Physics at VATLY in Hanoi (Vietnam) and former CERN Research Director 2006: Jacques Lefrançois, emeritus research director of exceptional class at CNRS
 Jury members are:
J. Martino (CNRS/IN2P3, chair), P. Bloch (CERN), J.C. Brient (Ecole Polytechnique), A. Pullia (INFN - Milan), J. Iliopoulos (ENS -Paris), G. Kalmus (RAL), M. Ducloy (SFP), D. Leith (SLAC), M.N. Minard (LAPP), V. Ruhlmann-Kleider (DAPNIA/CEA), M. Spiro (CNRS), A. Wagner (DESY), G. Wormser (LAL) et F. Zomer (Université Paris Sud 11)