Henry Chapman is awarded the Bjørn H. Wiik Prize

Prize winner 2010 is Henry Chapman (left). The Prize was handed over by the chairman of the prize committee, Professor Peter Schmüser (right).

On 15 November, Henry Chapman received the Bjørn H. Wiik Prize 2010. The 43-year-old physicist and Professor at the Centre for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) at DESY is awarded the prize for his groundbreaking experiments in the field of structural analysis of complex molecules at free-electron lasers.

“It was a unanimous decision for Henry Chapman”, said the chairman of the prize committee, Professor Peter Schmüser. “Henry is a pioneer in research with free-electron lasers and his experiments lay the foundation for a whole generation of new research possibilities”.

“I am extremely honoured for this award”, said prize winner Henry Chapman, “for work by my colleagues and I which would not have been possible without Bjorn Wiik´s early vision for a superconducting linear accelerator and free-electron laser, which led to the world's brightest source of soft-X-rays here at DESY. This has made DESY one of the most exciting and stimulating centres for X-ray science in the world.”

“Henry Chapman’s research successes are extremely diverse”, explains DESY research director Professor Edgar Weckert. “Especially essential for free-electron lasers are his studies on imaging of single biological objects as viruses and small crystals. With his experiments, Henry Chapman for the first time proved that FELs are able to take diffraction images of these objects before they are destroyed by the brilliant light.”

Henry N. Chapman was born in the UK and studied physics and graduated in Melbourne, Australia. After carrying out research in the United States for 16 years, until he came to Hamburg in 2007. Since that time he is professor at the University of Hamburg and head of the CFEL Coherent Imaging Group. Henry Chapman is a well-known expert in the field of three-dimensional imaging and phase retrieval. His development of investigation methods in this field is equally important for both, materials science and biology.

Since 2000, the Bjørn H. Wiik Prize is presented in memory of the chairman of the DESY directorate who died in 1999. It is financed by the proceeds of the donations received on occasion of the death of Bjørn Wiik. This prize is awarded to scientists every two years to acknowledge their outstanding contributions to the advancement of DESY research programmes or to developments in technology that especially promote DESY projects.