More Milner Money

Yuri Milner, a technology entrepreneur who made a splash last July by giving $3 million prizes to nine theoretical physicists, has splashed again. He’s just announced two “special prizes,” both for another $3 million each: one to Stephen Hawking, and one split between a number of people who played important roles in this year’s Higgs discovery at the LHC. (None for me for writing a book about it, but I guess that’s to be expected.)

The original Fundamental Physics Prizes went to a very theoretical group of theorists: Ed Witten, Nima Arkani-Hamed, Alan Guth, Juan Maldacena, Alexei Kitaev, Ashoke Sen, Nathan Seiberg, Maxim Kontsevich, and Andrei Linde. Without question an extremely influential and deserving group. There were minor grumblings from some quarters that most of these folks hadn’t (yet) contributed ideas that have been verified by experiments, but my attitude is that if someone wants to give $27 million of their personal fortune to physics, I’m not going to quibble about the precise allocation.

Still, it’s great to see the LHC experimenters share in the recognition; I think most people would agree that theorists tend to gather a disproportionate part of the public acclaim. The $3 million for the LHC was split several ways: $1 million to Lyn Evans, who guided the construction of the accelerator; $1 million divided between Michel Della Negra, Tejinder Singh Virdee, Guido Tonelli, and Joe Incandela, all spokespersons for CMS over the years; and $1 million divided between Peter Jenni and Fabiola Gianotti, who have been spokespersons for ATLAS. Congratulations to all the winners!

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17 Responses to More Milner Money

  1. Y. Santens says:

    One more prize already? Still it’s great that the LHC people and Hawking receive something since a Nobel prize is not too likely for them I suppose?

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  2. Josh Yates says:

    Well deserved for LHC people and Stephen Hawking. I’m glad they are being recognized.

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  4. Anna Goussiou says:

    Guido Tonelli was a CMS spokes, between Virdee and Incandella, if I am not mistaken. We in ATLAS went directly from Peter Jenni to Fabiola. Does this mean that CMS gets 4 millions and ATLAS 2, or that more people split the same amount of money at CMS?

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  5. Sean Carroll says:

    No, it just means I can’t type! I will fix it. Same amount of money for each experiment, so the CMS folks get less per person.

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  6. Jelica says:

    I am glad for Stephen Hawking and for LHC team but Sean Carroll should be aworded in connection with his book on Higgs too

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  7. Durgadas Datta says:

    Durgadas Datta published a few revolutionery theories. He should be also considered now.

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  8. Reginald Selkirk says:

    Off-topic:
    You’re on the hook now: Alan Alda asks scientists to explain: What’s time?

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  9. S Hawking says:

    A lot of the grumbling I heard was that not a single woman was chosen in the first round. At least that has changed in the current round, but not by much…

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  10. James Gallagher says:

    Don’t worry S Hawking, I’m sure Milner spends plenty of money on women in other areas.

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  11. Brett says:

    My exact thoughts were the same; if this guy wants to give his money to physicists, be my guest and I’ll defend him every step of the way. If I was a billionaire, I would do the same thing. I think very highly of the guy for this action.

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  12. Zahid Zakir says:

    “most of these folks hadn’t (yet) contributed ideas that have been verified by experiments”
    In dialogue http://dx.doi.org/10.9751/TPAC.4200-026 are collected my discussions by known gravitationists (some of which are professors working by BH). The question was: are black holes (BHs) compatible or not by physical GR (not as math toy) applying to real collapsed stars in cosmological time scales?
    General conclusion, with which agreed all them, is that GR leads to frozars (frozen stars), while BHs are the Newtonian artifact forbidden in GR.
    In standard models of collapse it is shown in http://dx.doi.org/10.9751/TPAC.4100-024 .
    Independently of social aspects of science (prizes, reputation, positions, sympathy, ambitions etc.), we are a community, having chance to build at this time the basics of the final scientific picture of the Universe and for me this more important.
    Any fair gravitationist, who compared both treatments – BHs and frozars, – up to now turned to the frozar picture. It may be different in this blog? I think that not.

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  13. Durgadas Datta says:

    Mono magnetic coupling theory of gravitoethertons on molecular level to cause gravity,Avogadros law etc etc can be a new theory for gravity and author Durgadas Datta is ignored so far for a prize. The balloon inside balloon theory of matter and antimatter universe on opposite entropy path producing gravitoethertons or we call dark energy at common boundary by annihilation and injected into our universe and his ideas of cyclic ,oscillating universe of eternal phases as one approaching tends to zero entropy is another revolutionary idea . The new atomic model described by him rejecting the requirement of strong and weak force is also published recently and Dr. Yuri Milner has not given any thought to reward the author.

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  14. Zahid Zakir says:

    The statements “a new theory for gravity” and “another revolutionary idea” are charcteristic terms for almost all inventions of “mainstream” and “marginal” gravitationists of last 4 decades, producing mainly hypotheses based on hypotheses instead of new checked results based on earlier well checked science.
    Fortunately, there is a very small group of researchers with very conservative methodology, who suppose that most of troubles of fundamental theor. phys. appeared due to inability to apply appropriately well known basic theories – QM and GR.
    The frozar theory of GR, which should be accepted instead of the black hole hypothesis of Newtonian gravity, is one of results of following to the conservative methodology.
    Notice, that a “revolutionary” hypothesomania, based on ignorance in appropriately applying of QM and GR, may by promoted worldwide and prized by naive sponsors, but it can not form a basis for the science describing the real world.

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  15. Brett says:

    What is a frozar? “a frozen star” doesn’t really explain anything. Sounds bogus.

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  16. Zahid Zakir says:

    ““a frozen star” doesn’t really explain anything.”
    Are you know that in GR there is a new physical phenomenon, absent in the Newtonian gravity – the real slowering of proper times in strong gravitational fields?
    Due to this GR effect, the clocks in navigators on Earth’s surface are going slower than in GPS satellites and this can lead to several tens meter mistaken coordinate determination, thus for synchronizing with navigators the atomic clocks in satellites have been made going slower artificially, only after which the system works correctly.
    In the real collapsing stars, as close the surface to the gravitational radius, the such real and irreversible freezing of all processes, i.e. proper times, becomes stronger and stronger in terms of the cosmological world time t of the Universe as whole. The almost total freezing begins from the centre of the star and propagates up to the surface during short world time interval, while the surface is beyond the grav. radius, after which the worldlines of particles at any layer of the star evolves parallel to the t axis and each other. The such fully frozen object is frozar, and GR does not predict any other object.
    The tales about tourists who travel into grav. radius “after infinity world time” are for naive people who trust to widely accepted paradigm only due to its widely acceptance (as young boys trusts to Santa) and who for this reason do not read the research papers coming to another conclusion.

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  17. Brett says:

    I guess I’m one of those who believes the paradigm. But it’s not a paradigm for me.

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