Paul Loubeyre has been awarded the Bridgman Award at the joint 25th AIRAPT and 53rd EHPRG conference in Madrid, on Wed. 02 Sept. 2015. We, at the ESRF, celebrate this excellent news with Paul Loubeyre who is a longstanding user of the ESRF and a key figure in the high pressure scientific community.
The Bridgman award is the most prestigious distinction in the field of high-pressure science. Professor T. Irifune, president of AIRAPT, the International Association for the Advancement of High Pressure Science and Technology, presented the Bridgman medal to Paul Loubeyre on Wednedsay 02 September 2015 at the joint 25th AIRAPT and 53rd EHPRG conference held at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Aug. 30 to 4 Sept. 2015).
The AIRAPT Award is given to scientists who have made outstanding contributions to the development of high‐pressure science and technology. This award is named in honour of P.W. Bridgman (1882-1961), who was Professor of Physics at Harvard University. In 1946, P.W. Bridgman won the Nobel Prize in Physics "for the invention of an apparatus to produce extremely high pressures and for discoveries he made therewith in the field of high pressure physics". He invented the Bridgman anvil apparatus and, over a period of 40 years, he investigated an enormous variety of materials up to ~3 GPa (30 kbar) at room temperature. P.W. Bridgman was one of the founders of modern high pressure research.
Paul is a longstanding user of ESRF beamlines: most of his work was performed at the high pressure XRD beamlines ID09A and ID27, but there were several others including ID16, ID24 and ID28. He started at the very beginning of operation of the ESRF, with a work of high impact describing the equation of state of hydrogen at Mbar pressures, published in Nature in 1996. He was awarded the ESRF “Young Scientist Award ” in 1996. He then continued working on hydrogen, and also investigated He, H2-He mixtures, ice, iron and other metals. The new structures and equations of state he has established will certainly remain as references in the field for their accuracy and completeness. Paul has taken an important part in new and exciting developments at the ESRF which open novel research directions in the field of HP HT properties of condensed matter. One of them is the direct measurement of the structure of liquids under extreme conditions using XRD in diamond anvil cells. He investigated the high pressure melting curves of Ar, He, ice, H2, Fe and other metals. He recently pioneered dynamic compression using high power laser shock at the ESRF, coupling it to XRD (ID09A) and XAS (ID24), and obtained first results on the local and electronic structure of warm dense Fe.
The scientific level and novelty of Paul’s work goes beyond its intrinsic interest, because it opens new and exciting research directions for the whole high pressure community.