Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Multimillionaire Physicists

The Nobel prize may be the most prestigious award for a physicist, but what can $1.2 million get you anymore nowadays, especially if you have to share it with a colleague or two? Physicists: fret no more. Now the most lucrative prize in academia -- the whopping $3 million Fundamental Physics Prize -- has been handed out for the first time.

Yuri Milner, a former physics student turned billionaire investor, started the prize to recognize advances in physics, especially theoretical advances that have yet to be corroborated by experiments. While he chose the winners this year, the nine winners from this year, who each received $3 million, will choose recipients in the future.

The New York Times has the full story and list of winners, and we have a partial list of the APS members who received the prize.

Juan Maldacena from the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey
Nathan Seiberg also from the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey is an APS fellow.
Ed Witten, yet another member of the Institute for Advanced Study, is an APS fellow as well.

All three were recognized for their theoretical work in fundamental physics topics like string theory and quantum field theory. Congratulations to Maldacena, Seiberg, Witten and all of the winners of this year's prize!

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