Robert Myers and Freddy Cachazo Win Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) Medals
Perimeter Faculty Robert Myers has won the CAP-TRIUMF Vogt Medal for his contributions to subatomic physics. To recognize exceptional achievement by a physicist early in their career, Freddy Cachazo has been awarded the CAP Herzberg Medal.
Robert Myers is one of Canada's most distinguished string theorists, whose insights have made him one of the most widely cited theoretical physicists in the world. He’s made numerous key contributions in subfields – from foundational string theory to gravitational physics to string cosmology. Several of his discoveries have opened entirely new lines of inquiry, and are regarded as modern classics. He is perhaps best known for "the Myers effect", a string theoretic analog of the dielectric effect in which certain objects, known as D-branes, respond to external fields, even if they don't carry the charge the field would normally act upon.
Freddy Cachazo is a mathematical physicist whose work has attracted attention for its immediate usefulness in particle physics and beyond. Drawing upon a variety of elegant mathematical ideas, Cachazo and his collaborators have developed entirely new methods of calculating scattering processes in gravity and gauge theories. Calculating scattering amplitudes is an essential step in making predictions or analyzing data in several fields of physics. For instance, high energy physicists at the Large Hadron Collider tackle scattering amplitudes routinely. Before Cachazo, many of these scattering amplitude problems were nearly too complex to calculate. Cachazo's techniques make them not just solvable, but surprisingly simple. The techniques have been adopted in both analysis and simulation, and have already been incorporated into textbooks.
Pedro Vieira Receives Early Researcher Award
Perimeter Institute Faculty member Pedro Vieira has received an Early Researcher Award (ERA) from Ontario's Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation. ERAs are prestigious grants given to recently-appointed faculty members across Ontario to assist them in building their research teams. The goal of the program is to help the province attract and retain the best and brightest young talent from around the world. Each researcher receives $140,000 through the program.
Vieira received the ERA on May 4, 2012 at an award ceremony alongside other recipients from Waterloo Region. The event included remarks by Ontario Minister John Milloy on the importance of the program, as well as thanks to the province from Michael Duschenes, Perimeter’s Chief Operating Officer, on behalf of the Institute.
Pedro Vieira was awarded the ERA for his proposal, "Quantum Field Theory at Finite Coupling." His research in this area largely concerns strongly coupled gauge theory, including quantum chromodynamics – a gauge theory which describes the properties of subatomic particles called quarks and the forces that act on them.
Razvan Gurau Wins Weyl Prize
Razvan Gurau, Senior Postdoctoral Fellow at Perimeter Institute, has been awarded the Hermann Weyl Prize for 2012 for his contributions in mapping new paths in quantum gravity. This prize, which is named after renowned German mathematical physicist Hermann Weyl, is only awarded once every two years.
In 2010, Gurau published a series of papers, which showed how the two-dimensional models of quantum gravity could be generalized to produce models with three dimensions or more. In other words, they showed the path from a two-dimensional model of the universe to the real one. This work quickly attracted the attention of other researchers in quantum gravity, both at Perimeter and at other leading centres around the world. The last year and a half has seen remarkable and rapid developments in quantum gravity.
This is the second time a Perimeter researcher has won the award, after Senior Postdoctoral Fellow Giulio Chiribella received the honour in 2010. Gurau will receive his prize in a ceremony at the International Colloquium on Group Theoretical Methods in Physics, which will be held in China later this summer.