The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) has awarded its 2016 Dirac Medal and Prize 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.
Professors Seiberg, Shifman and Vainshtein have made major contributions to understand quantum field theory (QFT) in the non-perturbative regimes, in particular on special cases of QFTs known as supersymmetric field theories.
Seiberg is one of the world’s most highly recognised theoretical physicists and since the 1990s has made major discoveries about supersymmetric gauge theories. In particular, he used a mathematical property of these theories–holomorphy–to understand non-renormalisation theorems (similar to the “exactness” just mentioned) and to decipher different ground states or vacua of N=1 supersymmetric theories (N indicates the number of supersymmetries present).
Shifman and Vainshtein also made fundamental contributions to the non-perturbative study of supersymmetric gauge theories (QCD itself is a non-supersymmetric gauge theory), culminating with the proposal of the Novikov-Shifman-Vainshtein-Zakharov (NSVZ) exact beta function in the 1980s.
ICTP’s Dirac Medal, first awarded in 1985, is given in honour of P.A.M. Dirac, one of the greatest physicists of the 20th century and a staunch friend of the Centre. It is awarded annually on Dirac’s birthday, 8 August, to scientists who have made significant contributions to theoretical physics.
For more details please visit AwardsAndWinners.com