ICTP's 2016 Dirac Medal and Prize are awarded to Nathan Seiberg (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton), Mikhail Shifman (University of Minnesota) and Arkady Vainshtein (University of Minnesota) for their important contributions to a better understanding of field theories in the non-perturbative regime and in particular for exact results in supersymmetric field theories.
Professor Seiberg has made major contributions to supersymmetric field theories elucidating the power of holomorphy to establish the non renormalisation theorems, deciphering the different phases of N=1 supersymmetric theories and uncovering a strong-weak coupling duality known as Seiberg duality. He (in collaboration with Edward Witten) also made major contributions towards a full non-perturbative understanding of N=2 theories that has led to many further developments in theoretical physics and mathematics.
Professors Shifman and Vainshtein have collaborated most fruitfully for more than 30 years. Besides their important independent work they have jointly uncovered several properties of strongly interacting field theories, in particular of Quantum Chromodynamics, with the Shifman-Vainshtein-Zakharov (SVZ) sum rules and the introduction of the gluon condensate. They also made fundamental contributions to the non-perturbative studies of supersymmetric gauge theories, clarifying the relation between the one-particle irreducible (1PI) and Wilsonian effective actions and culminating with the proposal of the Novikov-Shifman-Vainshtein-Zakharov (NSVZ) exact beta function.
The selection committee was Michael Green, David Gross, Bertrand Halperin, Giorgio Parisi, Joe Polchinski, Martin Rees, and Ashoke Sen.