Posted in | Quantum Physics

Fundamental Physics Prize Foundation Honors Alexander Polyakov for Discoveries in Field Theory and String Theory

The Fundamental Physics Prize Foundation is pleased to announce that the 2013 Fundamental Physics Prize has been awarded to Alexander Polyakov for his many discoveries in field theory and string theory.

The 2013 Fundamental Physics Prize winner was selected from the list of 2013 Physics Frontiers Prize winners by the Selection Committee, which is solely comprised of prior recipients of the Fundamental Physics Prize and includes Nima Arkani-Hamed, Alan Guth , Alexei Kitaev , Maxim Kontsevich , Andrei Linde , Juan Maldacena, Nathan Seiberg , Ashoke Sen and Edward Witten . The selection process was certified by a representative of Ernst & Young.

"I feel elated and surprised to receive this recognition. It is a great honor. I hope it will help attract more people to the field of physics and spur innovation and discovery across the globe," said Polyakov.

"I want to congratulate Alexander Polyakov ," said Nima Arkani-Hamed, a member of the Selection Committee. "This award recognizes the culmination of years of dedicated work that are unlocking the secrets of the universe."

The name of the US $3 million prize winner was unveiled at the culmination of a ceremony which took place on the evening of March 20, 2013 at the Geneva International Conference Centre. The ceremony was hosted by Hollywood actor and science enthusiast Morgan Freeman . The evening honored the 2013 laureates − 16 outstanding scientists including Stephen Hawking and CERN scientists who led the decades-long effort to discover the Higgs-like particle at the Large Hadron Collider. Sarah Brightman and Russian pianist Denis Matsuev performed live for the guests of the ceremony.

"The Fundamental Physics Prize celebrates what is possible in humanity's quest to understand the deepest questions of the universe. It is humbling to be surrounded by so much brain power and I'm excited by the promise of future discovery they represent," commented Yuri Milner .

All of the 2012 and 2013 Fundamental Physics Prize Foundation winners participated in the ceremony and also received the special award trophy, a work of art created by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson .

The Fundamental Physics Prize trophy is a silver sphere with a coiled vortex inside. The form is, in fact, a toroid, or doughnut shape, resulting from two sets of intertwining three-dimensional spirals. Found in nature, these spirals are seen in animal horns, nautilus shells, whirlpools, and even galaxies and black holes. The award is made of silver, an artistically significant material for a physics prize, as silver materialized from exploding stars.

For broadcast-ready video from the Fundamental Prize ceremony, please click here:


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