news highlights

2018 APS Prizes Awarded

Three ICTP-affiliated scientists recognized

From left: Subir Sachdev, Peter Zoller and William Bialek (ICTP Photo Archives/Roberto Barnaba, Massimo Silvano)
From left: Subir Sachdev, Peter Zoller and William Bialek (ICTP Photo Archives/Roberto Barnaba, Massimo Silvano)

24/10/2017 - Trieste

The American Physical Society, one of the largest organizations of physicists in the world, has just announced its 2018 award winners. Three honorees have extensive connections to ICTP, including two members of ICTP's governing Scientific Council, and were recognized for their work and leadership with three different awards.

The three honorees are William Bialek, Subir Sachdev, and Peter Zoller. Zoller is a recipient of one of ICTP's highest honors, the Dirac Medal, which he won in 2006. Both Sachdev and Bialek have delivered ICTP's yearly Salam Distinguished Lecture series, Bialek in 2013 and Sachdev the following year. Bialek and Sachdev are also members of ICTP's Scientific Council, one of ICTP's goverening bodies, composed of distinguished scientists from around the world.

William Bialek was honored with the Max Delbruck Prize in Biological Physics "for the application of general theoretical principles of physics and information theory to help understand and predict how biological systems function across a variety of scales, from molecules and cells, to brains and animals collectives."

Bialek is based at Princeton University, where he is a theoretical biophysicist and is the John Archibald Wheeler/Battelle Professor in Physics, and a member of the multidisciplinary Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics. He's long been interested in the interface between biology and physics, specifically the idea that biological systems are optimized to perform near the physically possible limits. This idea has served as an entry point for studying biology through the lens of physics, examining various systems at various scales, ranging from neural networks to flocks of birds.

Subir Sachdev was awarded the Lars Onsager Prize "for his seminal contributions to the theory of quantum phase transitions, quantum magnetism, and fractionalized spin liquids, and for his leadership in the physics community.

Sachdev is a professor at Harvard University, where he is the Herchel Smith Professor of Physics. His research focuses on the intersection of the physical properties of quantum materials and quantum entanglement. The many varieties of entangled states of quantum matter have driven Sachdev's research questions across his career.

Peter Zoller won the Norman F. Ramsey Prize in Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, and in Precision Tests of Fundamental Laws and Symmetries. Zoller was awared the Ramsey Prize “for his pioneering theoretical work on quantum computation, communication, and simulation with trapped ions, atoms, and molecules."

Zoller a professor of physics and Managing and Research Director at the Insitute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information at the University of Innsbruck. Zoller is known for his research on quantum computing and quantum communication, including his key work on bridging solid state physics and quantum information.

Congratulations to Bialek, Sachdev, and Zoller--ICTP is proud to see their great work recognized.


----Kelsey Calhoun