The 2015 Dirac Medal and Prize has been awarded to Professors Alexei Kitaev (California Institute of Technology), Gregory W. Moore (Rutgers University) and Nicholas Read (Yale University) for their interdisciplinary contributions which introduced concepts of conformal field theory and non-abelian quasiparticle statistics in condensed matter systems and applications of these ideas to quantum computation.
Their contributions have played a fundamental role in recent advances in our understanding of the quantum states of matter and quantum entanglement theory.
The joint work of Moore and Read on Non-Abelions in the Quantum Hall Effect has had an enormous impact in condensed matter physics, where it has motivated a considerable amount of experimental work as well as theoretical developments involving topological insulators and superconductors. It also inspired the ground-breaking work of Kitaev on topological quantum computing.
Kitaev's work on fault-tolerant quantum computation using topological quantum phases with non-abelian anyons has had profound implications in quantum information theory and has triggered an intense experimental search for Majorana quasi-particle excitations.
The awardees have also independently made important contributions in different areas of theoretical physics, including mathematical physics, conformal field theory, string theory, condensed matter physics and quantum information theory.
The selection panel was: Michael Green, David Gross, Alan Guth, Bertrand Halperin, Giorgio Parisi, Joe Polchinski
Ceremony Programme (PDF)