C.N. Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics

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  • Inaugural C.N. Yang Colloquium

  • Leonardo Rastelli Awarded Humboldt Fellowship

  • Robert Shrock Named Distinguished Professor

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.

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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.

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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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Leonardo Rastelli named Simons Investigator

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Leonardo Rastelli is among the select group of physicists named as 2020 Simons Investigators.

"Simons Investigators are outstanding theoretical scientists who receive a stable base of research support from the foundation, enabling them to undertake the long-term study of fundamental questions."

 

Peter van Nieuwenhuizen Shares $3M Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for “Invention of Supergravity”. Peter’s work with Dan Freedman and Sergio Ferrara was done at Stony Brook.

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[View the ceremony!]

The Breakthrough Prize cites the “powerful influence" of the supergravity formalism, which provided the first quantum field theory that truly unified gravity with the strong, electromagnetic and weak forces of the Standard Model.   It has served as a link from string theory to many realms of physics and mathematics, with applications to condensed matter and nuclear physics.

This award is only the fifth Special Breakthrough Prize, a category in its own right, and the invention of Supergravity joins the discoveries of gravitational waves, of pulsars, of the Higgs boson, and those of Stephen Hawking, in receiving this recognition.
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