Perimeter DRC Wins Fundamental Physics Prize

Perimeter Distinguished Research Chair (DRC) Nima Arkani-Hamed has been awarded the Fundamental Physics Prize. Arkani-Hamed was one of nine recipients of the inaugural round of the prize, which recognizes transformative advances in the field.

Arkani-Hamed is a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, and one of the world’s leading particle physicists. He was recognized “for original approaches to outstanding problems in particle physics, including the proposal of large extra dimensions, new theories for the Higgs boson, novel realizations of supersymmetry, theories for dark matter, and the exploration of mathematical structures in gauge theory scattering amplitudes.” Arkani-Hamed has developed theories regarding emergent extra dimensions of space and how they might explain the weakness of gravity relative to other forces of nature. He works closely with experimentalists and has proposed theories for testing at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland. The Fundamental Physics Prize was established by Yuri Milner, a Russian billionaire who studied theoretical physics prior to becoming an entrepreneur. Milner personally selected the inaugural recipients, but the annual prize will be decided by previous winners in the future. Each recipient received $3 million, making it the most lucrative academic prize in the world, more than twice the current value of the Nobel Prize. In addition to making frequent visits to Perimeter as a DRC, Arkani-Hamed has been a repeat lecturer in the Institute’s Perimeter Scholars International master’s program. Several other winners have had ties to Perimeter as well. Ashoke Sen, for example, was a Perimeter DRC until 2012, while Edward Witten visited and delivered a Perimeter Public Lecture in 2006. Alan Guth, Maxim Kontsevich, and Juan Maldacena have all visited Perimeter as collaborators or conference participants. The remaining three prize recipients were Alexei Kitaev, Andrei Linde, and Nathan Seiberg

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Perimeter Institute is the world’s largest research hub devoted to theoretical physics. The independent Institute was founded in 1999 to foster breakthroughs in the fundamental understanding of our universe, from the smallest particles to the entire cosmos. Research at Perimeter is motivated by the understanding that fundamental science advances human knowledge and catalyzes innovation, and that today’s theoretical physics is tomorrow’s technology. Located in the Region of Waterloo, the not-for-profit Institute is a unique public-private endeavour, including the Governments of Ontario and Canada, that enables cutting-edge research, trains the next generation of scientific pioneers, and shares the power of physics through award-winning educational outreach and public engagement.

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