Madey wins fel prize

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    At the 10th International Free Electron Laser (FEL) Conference, held in Jerusalem, it wasagreed to set up an FEL Prize, to be awarded annually in recognition of outstandingcontributions in FEL science or technology . Nominations for the prize were sought from thewhole of the international FEL community, and as a first recipient of this award they honoredone of their most famed members, John M.J . Madey, now Professor of Physics at DukeUniversity, North Carolina . The citation at the award presentation ceremony referred to his"pioneering research that stimulated widespread development of the free electron laser" andwas accompanied by a cash prize supported on this occasion by the Maxwell Laboratories,LaJolla, California and El Gal of Carmiel, Israel .

    John Madey initiated research on the FEL while at Stanford University in the early 70s,having first been attracted to its possibilities as a graduate student, and he also christened hisbrainchild with its present name . His own name is the one most associated with earlyexperimental developments and he led the Stanford team that made the first successfuldemonstrations in 1975-76, thus confirming the theoretical predictions that he had himselfmade several years earlier . Not only did these exciting results motivate a whole series of furtherexperiments under his direction, but he also played a major role in stimulating interestelsewhere around the world, resulting ultimately in the large international community nowpursuing such work . He collaborated successfully with the French group that initiated shortwavelength (ultraviolet) studies on the ACO electron storage rings, and acted as advisor tomany other project teams; however, it has been by his own long, successful research pro-gramme, with its continuing innovative developments, that he has had the most influence onother researchers.

    In all his experimental work, John Madey has demonstrated the ability to master a widerange of technologies, in particular by combining the techniques of laser physics and relativisticparticle accelerators. This has often demanded a novel approach that has continued up to hislatest plans for the world's first electron storage ring designed specially for free electron laseroperation . In an active research career spanning the last two decades, one of his mostsignificant qualities has been an appetite for risk-taking that has led the way for others tofollow, while his single-mindedness has always guaranteed success .

    In addition to these experimental achievements, John Madey has made a series of importanttheoretical contributions of direct relevance to FEL advancement, including the Gain Theorembearing his name that relates spontaneous and stimulated radiation emission in a beautifullytransparent manner . Furthermore, from the earliest times he had an intense interest in theapplications of FELs, never being content merely to produce an outstanding new radiationsource . This concern led directly to the present impetus for medical applications in the USA aspart of the SDI programme. He has always maintained a strong motivation for effectiveutilisation in a wide range of topics of the device with which his name will always be associated .