Participant Donations to the Center

The Aspen Center for Physics is an independent non-profit institution. Its continued existence and vitality of its programs are ensured by the generous financial contributions made by current and past participants, who appreciate at first hand the value of its programs. In addition to one-time or annual donations to the Reserve Fund or for specific purposes, the Center specifically recognizes donations by award winners through the Bethe Circle, and encourages legacy giving. More information about recent donations and about how to donate is given below.


Hans Bethe, who was a long-time Aspen Center for Physics participant, donated part of the prize money from his 1967 Nobel Prize in Physics to the Center for a building, now named Bethe Hall. Following in Bethe's footsteps, a number of participants whose outstanding work has been recognized by professional awards and prizes have chosen to donate part or all of the prize money to support the Center. If you have received a professional award or prize and would like to become a member of the Bethe Circle, contact the Administrative Vice President by email at or by phone at (970) 925-2585.

Members of the Bethe Circle

Gordon Baym, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign 2021 APS Medal for Exceptional Achievement in Research [Recognizes contributions of the highest level that advance our knowledge and understanding of the physical universe and in all its facets. It is intended to celebrate scientific inquiry and the pursuit of knowledge.]  Chosen for major discoveries in theoretical condensed matter and many-body physics, neutron star structure and composition, quark matter and quark-gluon plasma physics, and in atomic physics and ultracold quantum gases.

Daniel Freedman, Stanford University 2019 Special Breakthrough Prize [Recognizes individuals who have made profound contributions to human knowledge.] Chosen for the invention of supergravity, in which quantum variables are part of the description of the geometry of spacetime.

Vassiliki Kalogera, Northwestern University 2016 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.

Greg Moore, Rutgers 2014 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.

Hirosi Ooguri, Caltech and Kavli IPMU 2018 Hamburg Prize for Theoretical Physics [Annual prize presented by the University of Hamburg and the Joachim Herz Foundation for outstanding research achievements in theoretical physics. This is the first year the prize covers all areas of theoretical physics.] Chosen for his outstanding contributions to the topological string theory.

Pierre Ramond, University of Florida 2015 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.

John Schwarz, Caltech 2013 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.

Matthias Troyer, Microsoft 2016 Aneesur Rahman Prize for Computational Physics [Annual APS prize recognizing 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.