Major science prize for Russian physicist's Universe in a Helium Droplet

July 19, 2004

Today the Low Temperature Group of the Institute of Physics announced the winner of one of the world's most coveted prizes for physics, the Simon Memorial Prize, to Professor Grigory Volovik from the Low Temperature Laboratory, Helsinki University of Technology, and the Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics in Moscow.

The Simon Memorial Prize is one the world's top academic prizes and often an indicator of future Nobel glory. In the past thirty years, five Simon Prize winners have gone on to win Nobel Prizes, including last year's British winner Professor Sir Anthony Leggett.

The international Simon Memorial Prize commemorates the outstanding contribution to science of Sir Francis Simon, noted for his research in low temperatures at the University of Oxford, and who was also the science correspondent of the Daily Telegraph. It is awarded for distinguished work in experimental or theoretical low temperature physics.

Professor Volovik has been chosen for his pioneering research on the effects of symmetry in superfluids and superconductors and the extension of these ideas to quantum field theory, cosmology, quantum gravity and particle physics.

Professor Mike Lea, Chair, Simon Memorial Selection Panel said: "Professor Grigory Volovik is an outstanding theorist who has shown how novel ideas and experiments from low temperature physics might lead to a new understanding about the early Universe and particle physics, in a unique synthesis. This is described in his forthcoming book The Universe in a Helium Droplet."

The Prize will be awarded at a Simon Memorial Prize Conference in London on 22 September 2004 (Registration: where Professor Volovik will present a lecture, Emergent physics: a condensed matter primer.

The original press release can be found here.

Explore further: A new dimension to high-temperature superconductivity discovered

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