Michael Berry
  • 1998 Wolf Prize in Physics


British mathematical physicist. He was awarded the 1998 Wolf Prize in Physics "for the discovery of quantum topological and geometrical phases. Specifically, the Aharonov-Bohm effect, the Berry phase, and their incorporation into many fields of physics".

Education and Work Experience

1962-1965, Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics, St Andrews University
1979-1988, Professor of Physics, Bristol University
1988-2006, Royal Society Research Professor, Bristol University
2008-Present, Melville Wills Professor of Physics, Bristol University (Emeritus)

Honors and Awards

1982, Fellow of Royal Society
1996, Knight Bachelor Queen's Birthday Honors
1998, Wolf Prize in Physics
2000, Ig Nobel Prize in Physics

Major Academic Achievements

Michael Berry is known for the Berry phase, a phenomenon observed e.g. in quantum mechanics and optics, as well as Berry connection and curvature. He specialises in semiclassical physics (asymptotic physics, quantum chaos), applied to wave phenomena in quantum mechanics and other areas such as optics. His research focus on many incompletely understood phenomena lurk in the borderlands between physical theories: “between classical and quantum, between rays and waves… These borderlands -the domain of physical asymptotics - are my intellectual habitat, with an emphasis on geometrical aspects of waves(especially phase) and chaos.