Celebrating the centenary of Einstein’s equations and the Golden Jubilee of Relativistic Astrophysics during this International Year of Light, the Fourteenth Marcel Grossmann Meeting saw nearly 1200 scientists from all over the world converge on the University of Rome Sapienza campus in mid-July for 6 days of impressive plenary talks and about 100 parallel sessions covering a broad range of topics in physics and astrophysics sharing the common thread of Einstein’s theory of gravitation. The Marcel Grossmann Awards are a tradition of these meetings, with recipients receiving an elegant silver casting of the TEST sculpture by the artist Attilio Pierelli representing a sheaf of particles orbiting a Kerr black hole, a work of art inspired by the same image that has become the logo of this meeting series as well as of the sponsoring organization ICRANet.
Two Marcel Grossmann individual awards were presented earlier in May at a satellite meeting in Beijing, China (the International Conference on Gravitation and Cosmology / Fourth Galileo-Xu Guangqi Meeting), honoring Frank Chen Ny Yang “for deepening Einstein’s geometrical approach to physics in the best tradition of Paul Dirac and Hermann Weyl” and Tsung Dao Lee “for his work on white dwarfs motivating Enrico Fermi’s return to astrophysics and guiding the basic understanding of neutron star matter and fields.” In Rome, four individual awards were presented: to Ken’ichi Nomoto “for heralding the role of binary systems in the evolution of massive stars, to Martin Rees “for fostering research in black holes, gravitational waves and cosmology”, to Yakov G. Sinai “for applying the mathematics of chaotic systems to physics and cosmology” , and to Sachiko Tsuruta “for pioneering the physics of hot neutron stars and their cooling” . The European Space Agency received the institutional award “for the tremendous success of its scientific space missions in astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology and fundamental physics which have revolutionized our knowledge of the Universe and hugely benefited science and mankind” accepted on its behalf by its Director General Johann-Dietrich Woerner.
Conference participants were treated to plenary and public lectures by all the awardees, and an impressive list of plenary speakers reviewing the latest developments in areas ranging from classical and quantum gravitation to experimental and observational cosmology and astrophysics, including a remote teleconference lecture by the MG International Organizing Committee member Stephen Hawking marking this special anniversary of the Einstein equations. The scientific content of this historic meeting will for the first time be widely available as an open access e-book hosted by World Scientific, bringing into the electronic world the Marcel Grossmann Meeting mission of encouraging exchanges among scientists that may deepen our understanding of space-time structures as well as review the status of ongoing experiments aimed at testing Einstein’s theory of gravitation either from the ground or from space.