Discovery of Supergravity at Stony Brook Recognized by the
APS Dannie Heineman Prize

Peter van Nieuwenhuizen Sergio Ferrara Daniel Z. Freedman

Distinguished Professor Peter van Nieuwenhuizen, along with Profs. Daniel Z. Freedman of MIT and Sergio Ferrara of CERN have been named recipients of the 2006 Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics, of the American Physical Society. The Prize recognizes the discovery of supergravity, announced in a series of papers in 1976, when D. Z. Freedman was on the faculty of the Institute and Ferrara was a long-term visitor here. In 1993, the trio received the prestigious Dirac Medal of the International Center for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy for this work.

Supergravity, which generalizes Einstein's theory of gravity by incorporating the then-new idea of supersymmetry, quickly became a pillar of mathematical physics. In the following decades its many implications for physics beyond the standard model, for string theory and for mathematics have become more and more evident, so that now, nearly thirty years later, supergravity is as much a subject of interest as ever.

The Heineman Prize is one of the oldest and most prestigious of the American Physical Society international prizes, with an all-star cast of former winners, including Stony Brook Distinguished Professors Barry McCoy of the YITP and James Glimm of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics. The complete list, newly rounded out with Ferrara, Freedman and van Nieuwenhuizen, may be found at . The prize is traditionally presented at the APS April Meeting.

With this Prize, YITP faculty have received five major APS prizes over the past seven years: in 1999 the Lars Onsager Prize in statistical physics to Einstein Professor Emeritous Chen Ning Yang and the Heineman Prize to Distinguished Professor Barry McCoy, in 2001 the Bethe Prize for astrophysics to Distinguished Professor Gerald E. Brown (joint appointment with the Department of Physics and Astronomy), in 2003 the J. J. Sakurai Prize for particle theory to Distinguished Professor George Sterman, and now in 2006 the Heineman Prize once again.

Back to YITP homepage