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Dirac Medallists win Breakthrough Prize

2017 honors go to three physicists with strong links to ICTP

Dirac Medallists win Breakthrough Prize
Dirac Medallists win Breakthrough Prize

06/12/2016 - Trieste

Theoretical physicists Joseph Polchinski, Andrew Strominger, and Cumrun Vafa have won the 2017 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for “transformative advances in quantum field theory, string theory, and quantum gravity”.

The three are already well known to the ICTP community, not only for their outstanding scientific reputations but also because all are recipients of ICTP’s top physics prize, the Dirac Medal . The award, given annually on Dirac’s birthday, 8 August, recognizes scientists who have made significant contributions to theoretical physics.

Joseph Polchinski (Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, USA) and Cumrun Vafa (Harvard University, USA) shared the 2008 Dirac Medal with Juan Martin Maldacena (Institute for Advanced Study, USA) for their fundamental contributions to superstring theory. Vafa is also a member of ICTP’s Scientific Council.

Andrew Strominger (Harvard University, USA) received the Dirac Medal in 2014, along with Ashoke Sen (Harish-Chandra Research Institute, India) and Gabriele Veneziano (CERN), for their crucial contributions to the origin, development and further understanding of string theory.

ICTP congratulates them on their success.