EPS awards prizes for high-energy physics

By . Published on 26 September 2017 in:
September 2017, , , ,

This article is a republication from the CERN Courier.

The high-energy and particle-physics division of the European Physical Society (EPS) has announced the winners of its 2017 prizes, awarded at the EPS Conference on High-Energy Physics held in Venice on 5–12 July.

The 2017 High Energy and Particle Physics Prize for an outstanding contribution to the field was awarded to Erik Heijne of Czech Technical University in Prague, Robert Klanner of the University of Hamburg and DESY, and Gerhard Lutz of the Max Planck Institute for Physics, “for their pioneering contributions to the development of silicon microstrip detectors that revolutionised high-precision tracking and vertexing in high-energy physics experiments”. At the end of the 1970s, the trio developed the first silicon-strip counters for particle physics using the NA11 and NA32 experiments at CERN. Gerhard Lutz sadly passed away aged 77 in April this year (see “Gerhard Lutz 1939–2017″).

The 2017 Giuseppe and Vanna Cocconi Prize for an outstanding contribution to particle astrophysics and cosmology goes to Rainer Weiss of MIT and to Kip Thorne and Barry Barish of Caltech, “for their pioneering and leading roles in the LIGO observatory that led to the direct detection of gravitational waves, opening a new window to the universe”. LIGO has recently detected its third gravitational-wave event, and a global effort is mounting to build further such observatories (see “ESA gives green light for LISA”).

Theorist Simon Caron-Huot of McGill University has won the 2017 Gribov Medal for outstanding work by a young physicist in theoretical particle physics and/or field theory, “for his groundbreaking contributions to the understanding of the analytic structure of scattering amplitudes and their relation to Wilson loops”. The Young Experimental Physicist Prize for outstanding work by a young physicist, meanwhile, was won by Xin Qian of Brookhaven National Laboratory, “for his key contributions to the Daya Bay Reactor neutrino experiment that led to the measurement of the neutrino mixing angle θ13”.

The 2017 Outreach Prize was awarded to Michael Hoch, who is a member of the CMS collaboration, “for initiatives highlighting the conceptual and physical beauty of high-energy physics, and the inspirational qualities that are common to both art and science”. Finally, the 2017 Special Prize of the EPS high-energy and particle-physics division was awarded to René Brun of CERN, “for his outstanding and original contributions to the software tools for data management, detector simulation, and analysis that have shaped particle and high-energy physics experiments for many decades”. Brun pioneered the GEANT3 detector-simulation system, co-ordinated the development of the PAW (Physics Analysis Workstation) platform, and in 1995 created the ROOT system while working for the NA49 heavy-ion experiment.

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