Stephen Hawking and CERN LHC leaders win the Fundamental Physics Prize

2012 Special Fundamental Physics Prize

Stephen Hawking became the latest Fundamental Physics Prize laureate. He was awarded a special prize (3 million dollars) for his lifetime contributions to theoretical physics. The Fundamental Physics Prize Foundation noted his discovery of Hawking radiation from black holes, and his deep contributions to quantum gravity and quantum aspects of the early universe.

The second special prize was shared by the head of LHC and the spokespersons for the CMS and ATLAS experiments for their effort that led to the discovery of the new Higgs-like particle at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.

Lyn Evans received 1 million dollars for his leadership role in the design, construction and operation of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

Peter Jenni, and Fabiola Gianotti  shared 1 million dollars for their leadership at the ATLAS experiment.

Michel Della Negra, Tejinder Singh Virdee, Guido Tonelli, Joe Incandela shared 1 million dollars for their leadership at the CMS experiment.

Fundamental Physics Prize Foundation also announced the recipients of the “Physics Frontiers Prize” and the “New Horizons in Physics Prize”

2012 Physics Frontiers Prize

Charles Kane, Laurens Molenkamp and Shoucheng Zhang for the theoretical prediction and experimental discovery of topological insulators.

Alexander Polyakov for his many discoveries in field theory and string theory including the conformal bootstrap, magnetic monopoles, instantons, confinement/de-confinement, the quantization of strings in non-critical dimensions, gauge/string duality and many others. His ideas have dominated the scene in these fields during the past decades.

Joseph Polchinski for his contributions in many areas of quantum field theory and string theory. His discovery of D-branes has given new insights into the nature of string theory and quantum gravity, with consequences including the AdS/CFT correspondence.

2012 New Horizons in Physics Prize

Niklas Beisert for the development of powerful exact methods to describe a quantum gauge theory and its associated string theory.

Davide Gaiotto for far-reaching new insights about duality, gauge theory, and geometry, and especially for his work linking theories in different dimensions in most unexpected ways.

Zohar Komargodski for his work on the dynamics of four-dimensional field theories. In particular, his proof (with Schwimmer) of the “a-theorem” has solved a long-standing problem, leading to deep new insights.


Fundamental Physics Prize — US$3,000,000;

Physics Frontiers Prize – US$300,000;

New Horizons in Physics Prize — US$100,000;.


Prizes recognize major achievements, with special attention to recent developments;

No age restrictions;

Can be shared by any number of people;

Can be received more than once.

Selection Committee

Past recipients of the Fundamental Physics Prize are invited to serve on the Selection Committee to select recipients of future prizes. The selection committee this year were the inaugural laureates

Special Prize

In exceptional cases a special Fundamental Physics Prize can be awarded at any time, forgoing the nomination process.


About Suresh Emre

I have worked as a physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the Superconducting Super Collider Laboratory. I am a volunteer for the Renaissance Universal movement. My main goal is to inspire the reader to engage in Self-discovery and expansion of consciousness.
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