He earned his degree in physics at the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest in 1965. He obtained his Ph.D. (C.Sc.) in physics in 1976, and his D.Sc. degree in 1982 at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He became a corresponding member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1982, and a full member in 1987.
He is credited with several notable inventions. These include the formulation of the neutron spin-echo principle, which provided a new foundation for experimental neutron and solid-state physics research; the development of the first spectrometer based on that principle; the formulation of the principles of the neutron supermirror and the long impulse spallation neutron source.
His scientific achievements have been recognized by several prizes and awards, including: the Széchenyi Prize (2014), the Walter Haelg Prize (1999), the Eugene Wigner Prize (1999), the Leó Szilárd Medal (1999), the Middle Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary (1995), the European Chair of Physics (1994), and the Hewlett-Packard Europhysics Prize (1986).
He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Debrecen in 2009, and in 2003, he became an honorary professor of the University of California in San Diego.
He is a member several prestigious professional organizations, including: the Hungarian Physical Society, the European Physical Society, the American Physical Society, the Academia Europaeana, the Scientific Committee of the Budapest Neutron Center, and the Scientific Committee of the Neutron Science Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (USA).