C.N. Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics

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  • 2021 J. J. and Noriko Sakurai Dissertation Award in Theoretical Particle Physics to 2020 YITP graduate Sam Homiller

  • Rouven Essig Awarded 2021 New Horizons Prize in Physics

  • Congratulations after a summer like no other

2021 J. J. and Noriko Sakurai Dissertation Award in Theoretical Particle Physics to 2020 YITP graduate Sam Homiller

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We're proud that Sam Homiller will receive the American Physics Society's 2021 J.J. and Noriko Sakurai Dissertation Award in Theoretical Particle Physics


This national award is presented annually to "exceptional young scientists who have performed original doctoral thesis work of outstanding scientific quality and achievement in the area of theoretical particle physics." Sam's dissertation has been singled out for his work on the Higgs boson, in and beyond the Standard Model. He is cited "for the discovery of novel methods to elucidate the property of the Higgs, and qualitatively new possibilities for Higgs physics overlooked for many years.” Sam's advisor was Patrick Meade, and he also spent a year at Brookhaven National Laboratory, working with Sally Dawson and others, after winning a Department of Energy Graduate Student Fellowship.


Rouven Essig Awarded 2021 New Horizons Prize in Physics

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Rouven Essig was named a winner of the 2021 New Horizons Prizes in Physics, "For advances in the detection of sub-GeV dark matter especially in regards to the SENSEI experiment." Three New Horizons prizes are awarded annually for work by junior scientists (a relative term), by the Breakthrough Prize organization. Rouven's co-winners for this prize are our former postdoc, Tien-Tien Yu, now on the faculty at Oregon, together with Tomer Volansky of Tel Aviv, and Javier Tiffenberg of Fermilab.


Congratulations after a summer like no other

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Every year, Institute graduates go on to the next step in their careers.  The summer of 2020 is no exception, although so much about the experience seems to have changed.  With dedicated support from the faculty and staff of the YITP and Department of Physics and Astronomy, however, the Institute's students reached this year's milestones.  We go into the coming year with renewed confidence in the continuity of the Institute's traditions of  mentorship and research, for students and postdocs alike.

From May to August, we had seven thesis defenses, all on-line.   Because of the distancing and relocations associated with the pandemic, these events were necessarily multi-location, and some were even multi-continent.   With remote access, we may have lacked the shared toasts and treats afterward, but every defense was well-attended, and an occasion for warm expressions of congratulation.

As it turns out, this year, all of this group of graduates have chosen to go on to postdoctoral research positions in fields directly related to their areas of study.   These 2020 graduates are listed below in the order of their thesis defenses, with their dissertation titles, names of advisors and the locations of their postdoctoral positions.   Although not every field of study is represented in this group, the list gives a sense of the breadth of the Institute's research.

Congratulations to the new Ph.D.s!  We hope to see them, not only online, but back at Stony Brook when the times allow.


Leonardo Rastelli named Renaissance Chair of Theoretical Physics

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The Renaissance Chair in Theoretical Physics has been established in recognition and support of the ongoing research at the Institute.  It was established with gifts from the Simons Foundation and three private individuals.   Leonardo Rastelli's appointment as the first Renaissance is in recognition of hiis wide-ranging contributions to string theory and quantum field theory, his leadership role in the scientific community and his outstanding mentorship of students and junior researchers.


Alexander Zamolodchikov named SUNY Distinguished Professor

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Alexander Zamolodchikov is recognized as a giant in quantum field theory, which is the language of modern theoretical physics. He is associated with foundational advances in theoretical physics, which continue to guide contemporary advances in quantum field theory, as well as the related areas of statistical mechanics, string theory and of mathematics.

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