“The last thought is that the alpine landscape provides me with a very strange sense of vitality. The sun, the mountain, the meadows and the hikes somehow empower me in ways that I cannot quite explain.”
Scientific Awards won by our ParticipantsIn 2014, then ACP President, Karin Rabe, created the Bethe Circle to honor physicists who have participated in Aspen programs and who have won awards from entities outside their home institutions. The designation credits Hans Bethe who was an Aspen participant for many years. He won a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1967 and donated some of his prize money to the Aspen Center for Physics, which has named one of its three buildings after him. Continuing in Bethe's footsteps, some awardees have given the Center generous contributions from their prize awards. These donors are listed in the Bethe Circle.
This list is not complete and does not include the many awards our participants have received over the years. It begins with the 2014 Bethe Circle inauguration. If you know of any awardees who should be listed, contact ACP.
2014Greg Moore, Rutgers – Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics [Annual APS prize since 1959 recognizing outstanding publications in the field of mathematical physics.] Chosen for eminent contributions to mathematical physics with a wide influence in many fields, ranging from string theory to supersymmetric gauge theory, conformal field theory, condensed matter physics and four–manifold theory.
John Schwarz, Caltech – Physics Frontiers Prize [Awarded annually by the Fundamental Physics Prize Foundation, established in 2012 to recognize groundbreaking work in the field.] Chosen for work developing superstring theory in collaboration with Michael Green between 1979 and 1986.
2018Clifford Johnson, University of Southern California – Klopsteg Memorial Lecture Award [Recognizes educators who have made notable and creative contributions to the teaching of physics.] Chosen for his exemplary commitment to both frontier research and to publicizing the excitement of physics on television and in movies and books continues to contribute to the public knowledge and understanding of physics..
2016David Hitlin, Caltech – W.K.H. Panofsky Prize in Experimental Particle Physics [APS prize since 1985 to recognize outstanding achievements in experimental particle physics.] Chosen for leadership in the BABAR and Belle experiments, which established the violation of CP symmetry in B meson decay, and furthered our understanding of quark mixing and quantum chromodynamics.
Randy Hulet, Rice University – Davisson–Germer Prize [APS prize to recognize outstanding work in atomic physics or surface physics.] Chosen for pioneering investigations of quantum degenerate gasses and how they are affected by atomic interaction.
Clifford Johnson, University of Southern California – 2016 Simons Fellow in Theoretical Physics [The Fellows Programs provide funds to faculty for up to a semester long research leave from classroom teaching and administrative obligations. Such leaves can increase creativity and provide intellectual stimulation.
Vassiliki Kalogera, Northwestern University – Hans A. Bethe Prize [Recognizes outstanding work in theory, experiment or observation in the areas of astrophysics, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, or closely related fields.] Chosen for key contributions to the study of the electromagnetic and gravitational wave radiation from binary compact objects, including the now–verified prediction that neutron star mergers produce short gamma–ray bursts that will be found in all galaxy types.
Alexei Kitaev, Caltech; Greg Moore, Rutgers; Nicholas Read, Yale – Dirac Medal of the ICTP [Awarded annually since 1985 for outstanding contributions to theoretical physics.]
David Pines, UC Davis – Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize [APS award that recognizes a most outstanding contribution to physics.] Chosen for his contributions to our understanding of emergent behavior in quantum matter–plasmons, nuclear, celestial and unconventional superfluidity, heavy electron emergence, and for his effectiveness in communicating these discoveries and a new “emergent” paradigm to the broader scientific community.
Matthias Troyer, ETH Zurich – Aneesur Rahman Prize for Computational Physics [Annually recognizes outstanding achievement in computational physics research.] Chosen for pioneering numerical work in many seemingly intractable areas of quantum many–body physics and for providing efficient, sophisticated computer codes to the community.
2015Takaaki Kajita, University of Tokyo – Nobel Prize in Physics. Chosen for the discovery of neutrino oscillations, which shows that neutrinos have mass.
Marc Kamionkowski, Johns Hopkins – Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics [APS and AAS award that recognizes accomplishments in theoretical astrophysics.] Chosen (with David Spergel) for outstanding contributions to the investigation of the fluctuations of the cosmic microwave background, which have led to major breakthroughs in our understanding of the universe.
Pierre Ramond, University of Florida – Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics [Annual APS prize since 1959 recognizing outstanding publications in the field of mathematical physics.] Chosen for pioneering foundational discoveries in supersymmetry and superstring theory, in particular the dual model of fermions and the theory of the Kalb-Ramond field.
Subir Sachdev, Harvard – Dirac Medal and Lecture (University of New South Wales) [Awarded annually since 1979 for outstanding contributions to theoretical physics.]
David Spergel, Princeton – Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics [APS and AAS award that recognizes accomplishments in theoretical astrophysics.] Chosen (with Marc Kamionkowski) for outstanding contributions to the investigation of the fluctuations of the cosmic microwave background, which have led to major breakthroughs in our understanding of the universe.
Ian Spielman, National Institute of Standards and Technology – Rabi Prize in Atomic, Molecular & Optical Physics [Recognizes outstanding research in atomic, molecular and optical physics by investigators who have held a PhD for 10 years or less.] Chosen for the development of quantum simulations using ultra–cold atoms, creation of synthetic electromagnetic fields, demonstration of synthetic spinorbit coupling, and applications to studying new physical systems.
2014Michael Green, Cambridge University – Physics Frontiers Prize [Awarded annually by the Fundamental Physics Prize Foundation, established in 2012 to recognize groundbreaking work in the field.] Chosen for work developing superstring theory in collaboration with John Schwarz between 1979 and 1986.