Prize Recipient

Recipient Picture

David B. Tanner
University of Florida


"For leading the synthesis of precision microwave cavity techniques, superconducting quantum sensing, and cryogenic technology into the modern axion haloscope, and for the subsequent demonstration of experimental sensitivity to high-priority models of axions as dark matter."


David Tanner attended the University of Virginia (B.A. 1966, M.S. 1967) and Cornell University (Ph.D. 1972). He held a postdoctoral position at the University of Pennsylvania and then, in 1974, joined the Physics Department at the Ohio State University. He came to the University of Florida in 1982, where he is Distinguished Professor of Physics. His research, all experimental, is in three areas. The first is particle-astrophysics, a search for axions as a component of the dark-matter halo of our galaxy with the Axion Dark-Matter eXperiment (ADMX). He worked on a prototype axion cavity haloscope at Florida before the large-scale detector was built and has been a member of ADMX since its inception. He also participates in ALPS II, a light-shining-through-walls experiment. The second area is gravitational-wave detection, with contributions to the Input Optics of LIGO. The third is the optical properties of solids. His spectroscopy of high-temperature superconductors was recognized in 2016 by the award of the American Physical Society's Frank Isakson Prize for Optical Effects in Solids. His research has been supported by DOE, the Heising-Simons Foundation, NSF, NASA, and DARPA. He served as chair of the Department at Florida during 1986–89. He has held a variety of other leadership positions, including chair of the APS Division of Condensed Matter Physics (2006–7). He is an author of 500 papers and has overseen 50 Ph.D. and 52 postdoctoral students.