PI Associate Faculty Member Cliff Burgess wins 2010 CAP-CRM Prize

Prof. Burgess becomes the third PI researcher to be recognized with this prestigious award, joining past winners Rob Myers and Richard Cleve.

Perimeter Institute Associate Faculty member Clifford Burgess has won the 2010 CAP-CRM Prize in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics. The annual prize, co-sponsored by the Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) and the Centre de recherches mathématiques (CRM), recognizes research excellence in the fields of theoretical and mathematical physics. Dr. Burgess holds a cross-appointment with PI and McMaster University.

“The Canadian Association of Physicists is pleased with this year’s set of award winners,” noted CAP President Robert Mann. “The award to Dr. Burgess represents a long overdue recognition of his contributions to theoretical physics.”

Prof. Burgess is a pioneering theoretical physicist who has made many broad and deep contributions to physics. Over two decades, he has creatively applied the techniques of effective field theory to high-energy physics, nuclear physics, string theory, early universe cosmology and condensed matter physics; in doing so, he has cross-pollinated ideas and stimulated new avenues of research. With collaborators, he developed leading string theoretic models of inflation that provide its most promising framework for experimental verification.

His 144 published papers have garnered over 5600 citations to date. In fact, a 2003 – 2008 survey by the Institute of Particle Physics found him to be the top-cited particle theorist in Canada. He has authored several authoritative reviews of effective field theories, numerous book and encyclopedia chapters, and co-authored a graduate text on the Standard Model. Prof. Burgess’ many achievements were recognized in 2008, when he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Burgess’ diverse research program extends to astrophysics, condensed matter physics, and collaborations with physicists on the ATLAS experiment at the LHC. Through this extraordinary breadth and his deep mathematical creativity, Burgess has advanced theoretical and experimental work and provided the field at large with a set of increasingly relevant tools.

In learning that he had won the award, Prof. Burgess said, “I am still taking it in, but it is very gratifying to receive this kind of recognition from one’s peers. I am grateful to both the CAP and the CRM for their efforts to shine a spotlight in this way on the efforts of physicists in Canada toiling away in the theoretical trenches.”

The CAP-CRM Prize medal and cash award will be presented by Dr. Robert Mann, President of the CAP, at the organization’s annual Congress, which will be held June 7-11 in Toronto. 

This is the third time a PI researcher has won the award; previous winners include Associate Faculty member Richard Cleve (2008) and Faculty member Robert Myers (2005).


The CAP-CRM press release is available on the CAP website.

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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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