Dirac Medal (ICTP)


The Dirac Medal of the ICTP is given each year by the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in honour of physicist Paul Dirac. The award, announced each year on 8 August (Dirac's birthday), was first awarded in 1985.[1]

An international committee of distinguished scientists selects the winners from a list of nominated candidates. The Committee invites nominations from scientists working in the fields of theoretical physics or mathematics.

The Dirac Medal of the ICTP is not awarded to Nobel Laureates, Fields Medalists, or Wolf Prize winners.[1] However, several Dirac Medallists have subsequently won one of these awards.[2][3][4][5]

The medallists receive a prize of US$5,000.


Year Laureates For
1985 Edward Witten "path-opening contributions to the physics of elementary particles and gravity, to the search for unification, and to the imaginative pursuit of the implications for cosmology."[1]
Yakov Zel'dovich "far-ranging contributions to relativistic astrophysics, particularly in theories of compact objects and cosmic evolution."[1]
1986 Alexander Polyakov "being among the first to emphasize the importance of scale invariance in quantum field theory, particularly in connection with the theory of critical phenomena."[1]
Yoichiro Nambu "being one of the first physicists to formulate the idea of spontaneous symmetry breaking and in particular, chiral symmetry breaking in relativistic particle physics. His contributions to the quark model in the 1960s and, later, his geometrical formulation of the dual resonance models as the dynamics of a relativistic string theory are of fundamental importance."[1]
1987 Bruno Zumino "fundamental contributions to the study of chiral anomalies in gauge theories with fermions. Also in collaboration with Prof. [Julius] Wess, he proposed the first renormalizable Lagrangian field theories to realize supersymmetry in 4-dimensional space-time. With Prof. Stanley Deser he constructed one of the first supergravity theories in four dimensions. In addition to this important early work, he has been a leader in the application of modern geometrical ideas in field theory."[6]
Bryce DeWitt "his fundamental contributions to the study of classical and quantum gravity and non-Abelian gauge theory. His pioneering work with quantum, effective action underlies much of the modern formalism. Particularly important are the background field method which he invented, and the methodology of ghost loops in gauge theory, which he did much to develop."[6]
1988 David J. Gross "his fundamental contributions to the understanding of nuclear forces at short distances and to the theory of superstrings. Together with F. Wilczek and, independently, H. D. Politzer and G. H. 't Hooft, he discovered the mechanism of asymptotic freedom in non-Abelian gauge theories. This discovery, which accounts for the phenomenon of scaling in deep inelastic interactions, was central to the development of quantum chromodynamics as a viable model for the nuclear force. His invention, together with [Jeffrey A.] Harvey, [Emil] Martinec and [Ryan] Rohm, of the heterotic superstring model enlarges the theoretical understanding of string theory and has provided a great stimulus to research in this subject."[7]
Efim S. Fradkin "his many fruitful contributions to the development of quantum field theory and statistics. Among these are his early work on functional methods including his formal solution to the Schwinger-Dyson equations for the Green's functions of interacting systems. This result has become a standard part of modern quantum field theory. Independently of [Yasushi] Takahashi he discovered the generalized Ward identities for electrodynamics. These identities and their generalizations for non-Abelian gauge theories are basic to the understanding of local symmetries."[7]
1989 John H. Schwarz "their basic contributions to the development of superstring theory. Most significant was their discovery that chiral gauge anomalies are absent for a class of ten dimensional superstring theories. This provided a strong indication that superstring theory with a specific gauge symmetry may provide a consistent unified quantum theory of the fundamental forces including gravity. It led to an explosion of interest in string theory which has already spurred remarkable advances both in mathematical physics and in pure mathematics."[8]
Michael Green
1990 Ludwig Faddeev "researches in the area of quantum field theory and mathematical physics. His name is well known in theoretical physics in connection with the Three Body System (Faddeev's equation). He made decisive contributions to the quantization of the Yang-Mills and gravitational field. The Faddeev-Popov covariant prescription of quantization of non-Abelian gauge theories discovered in 1966-67 has many essential applications including quantum effects in the Glashow-Salam-Weinberg model of electroweak interactions and in quantum chromodynamics."[9]
Sidney R. Coleman "his contributions to quantum field theory and particle physics. His work on quantum field theories has greatly clarified their structure. This includes the classification of all possible bosonic symmetries of S-matrix (with J. Mandula) and the study of some fundamental properties of two-dimensional quantum field theories including, in particular, the absence of symmetry breaking and aspects of boson-fermion equivalence."[9]
1991 Jeffrey Goldstone "his fundamental clarification of spontaneous symmetry violation in relativistic quantum field theory."[10]
Stanley Mandelstam "his contributions to the development of theoretical physics."[10]
1992 Nikolai Bogoliubov "many outstanding contributions in physics and mathematics."[10]
Yakov G. Sinai
1993 Daniel Z. Freedman "for their discovery of supergravity theory in 1976 and their major contributions in the subsequent developments of the theory. Their discovery led to an explosion of interest in quantum gravity and it transformed the subject, playing a significant role in very important developments in string theory as well as Kaluza-Klein theory."[11]
Peter van Nieuwenhuizen
Sergio Ferrara
1994 Frank Wilczek "his contributions to the development of theoretical physics. In 1973 he was one of the discoverers of the phenomenon of "asymptotic freedom" in non-Abelian gauge theories. This fundamental observation - that the effective interaction at short distances becomes weak, even in strongly interacting systems - led to the development of a realistic model for hadron physics."[12]
1995 Michael Berry "for his discovery of the non-integrable phase that arises in adiabatic processes in quantum theory. This effect was first detected in 1986 in an optics experiment by [Akira] Tomita and [Raymond] Chiao in which the rotation of the polarization plane of a wave propagating in a twisted optical fibre was interpreted as a Berry phase."[13]
1996 Martinus J.G. Veltman "his pioneering investigations on the renormalizability of gauge theories and consequently, his analysis of the sensitivity of radiative corrections to both the mass differences in fermion doublets and the Higgs particle mass. These calculations provided the basic prediction in the search for the top quark mass."[14]
Tullio Regge "crucial contributions in theoretical and mathematical physics starting with his seminal investigation of the asymptotic behavior of potential scattering processes through the analytic continuation of the angular momentum to the complex plane. The so-called Regge trajectories have helped in the classification of particles and resonances by grouping together entities with different spin. The so-called Regge behavior was, and still is, an important ingredient in the construction of string theories."[14]
1997 David Olive "their farsighted and highly influential contributions to theoretical physics, over an extended period. Goddard and Olive have contributed many crucial insights that shaped our emerging understanding of string theory and have also had a far-reaching impact on our understanding of four-dimensional field theory."[15]
Peter Goddard
1998 Roman Jackiw "use of quantum field theory to illuminate physical problems. The derivation by Adler (and, independently, Weisberger) of a sum rule for pion-nucleon scattering marked a breakthrough in our understanding of the currents and broken symmetries of the strong interactions. Jackiw made a major contribution to field theories relevant to condensed matter physics in his discovery (with [Claudio] Rebbi) of fractional charge and spin in these theories. The paths of Adler and Jackiw (with [John Stewart] Bell) crossed in what may be their most important discovery: the celebrated triangle anomaly, one of the most profound examples of the relevance of quantum field theory to the real world."[16]
Stephen L. Adler
1999 Giorgio Parisi "his original and deep contributions to many areas of physics ranging from the study of scaling violations in deep inelastic processes (Altarelli-Parisi equations), the proposal of the superconductor's flux confinement model as a mechanism for quark confinement, the use of supersymmetry in statistical classical systems, the introduction of multifractals in turbulence, the stochastic differential equation for growth models for random aggregation (the Kardar-Parisi-Zhang model) and his groundbreaking analysis of the replica method that has permitted an important breakthrough in our understanding of glassy systems and has proved to be instrumental in the whole subject of Disordered Systems."[17]
2000 Helen Quinn "pioneering contributions to the quest for a unified theory of quarks and leptons and of the strong, weak, and electromagnetic interactions."[18]
Howard Georgi
Jogesh Pati
2001 John Hopfield “important contributions in an impressively broad spectrum of scientific subjects. His special and rare gift is his ability to cross the inter-disciplinary boundary to discover new questions and propose answers that uncover the conceptual structure behind the experimental facts"[19][20]
2002 Alan Guth "the development of the concept of inflation in cosmology. Although the history of the very early universe has not been firmly established, the idea of inflation has already had notable observational successes, and it has become the paradigm for fundamental studies in cosmology."[21]
Andrei Linde
Paul Steinhardt
2003 Robert Kraichnan "their distinct contributions to the theory of turbulence, particularly the exact results and the prediction of inverse cascades, and for identifying classes of turbulence problems for which in-depth understanding has been achieved."[22]
Vladimir E. Zakharov
2004 Curtis Callan "theoretical developments of the late 60's and early 70's that led to the use of deep inelastic scattering for the elucidation of the nature of the strong interactions."[23]
James Bjorken
2005 Patrick A. Lee "his work on weak localization and interaction effects, is being recognized for his pioneering contributions to our understanding of disordered and strongly interacting many-body systems."[24]
Sam Edwards "his fundamental contributions to polymer physics, spin glass theory and the physics of granular matter."[24]
2006 Peter Zoller "innovative and prolific work in atomic physics, including seminal work proposing methods to use trapped ions for quantum computing and describing how to realize the Bose-Hubbard model and associated phase transitions in ultracold gases."[25]
2007 John Iliopoulos "their work on the physics of the charm quark, a major contribution to the birth of the Standard Model, the modern theory of Elementary Particles."[26]
Luciano Maiani
2008 Joe Polchinski "for their fundamental contributions to superstring theory. Their studies range from early work on orbifold compactifications, physics and mathematics of mirror symmetry, D-branes and black hole physics, as well as gauge theory-gravity correspondence. Their contributions in uncovering the strong-weak dualities between seemingly different string theories have enabled us to learn about regimes of quantum field theory which are not accessible to perturbative analysis."[27]
Juan Maldacena
Cumrun Vafa
2009 Roberto Car "developing the ab initio simulation method in which they combined, elegantly and imaginatively, the quantum mechanical density functional method for the calculation of the electronic properties of matter with molecular dynamics methods for the Newtonian simulation of atomic motions."[28]
Michele Parrinello
2010 Nicola Cabibbo "their fundamental contributions to the understanding of weak interactions and other aspects of theoretical physics."[29]
George Sudarshan
2011 Édouard Brézin "their independent pioneering work on field theoretical methods to the study of critical phenomena and phase transitions; in particular for their significant contributions to conformal field theories and integrable systems."[30]
John Cardy
Alexander Zamolodchikov
2012 Duncan Haldane "their many important contributions to condensed matter physics, including their independent work preparing and opening the field of two and three dimensional topological insulators."[31]
Charles L. Kane
Shoucheng Zhang
2013 Tom W. B. Kibble "their independent, ground-breaking work throughout their careers elucidating many aspects of fundamental physics, cosmology and astrophysics."[32]
Jim Peebles
Martin John Rees
2014 Ashoke Sen "crucial contributions to the origin, development and further understanding of string theory."[33]
Andrew Strominger
Gabriele Veneziano
2015 Alexei Kitaev "their interdisciplinary contributions which introduced concepts of conformal field theory and non-abelian quasiparticle statistics in condensed matter systems and applications of these ideas to quantum computation."[34]
Greg Moore
Nicholas Read
2016 Nathan Seiberg "their important contributions to a better understanding of field theories in the non-perturbative regime and in particular for exact results in supersymmetric field theories."[35]
Mikhail Shifman
Arkady Vainshtein
2017 Charles H. Bennett "their pioneering work in applying the fundamental concepts of quantum mechanics to solving basic problems in computation and communication and therefore bringing together the fields of quantum mechanics, computer science and information."[36]
David Deutsch
Peter W. Shor
2018 Subir Sachdev "their independent contributions towards understanding novel phases in strongly interacting many-body systems, introducing original transdisciplinary techniques."[37]
Dam Thanh Son
Xiao-Gang Wen
2019 Viatcheslav Mukhanov "for their outstanding contributions to the physics of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) with experimentally tested implications that have helped to transform cosmology into a precision scientific discipline by combining microscopic physics with the large scale structure of the universe."[38]
Alexei Starobinsky
Rashid Sunyaev
2020 André Neveu "their pioneering contributions to the inception and formulation of string theory which introduced new Bosonic and Fermionic symmetries into physics."[39]
Pierre Ramond
Miguel Virasoro
2021 Alessandra Buonanno "establishing the predicted properties of gravitational waves in the curvature of spacetime produced when stars or black holes spiral together and merge."[40]
Thibault Damour
Frans Pretorius
Saul Teukolsky
2022 Joel L. Lebowitz "groundbreaking and mathematically rigorous contributions to the understanding of the statistical mechanics of classical and quantum physical systems."[41]
Elliott H. Lieb
David P. Ruelle
2023 Jeffrey Harvey "their pioneering contributions to perturbative and non-perturbative string theory and quantum gravity, in particular, to the aspects related to anomalies, duality, black holes and holography."[42]
Igor Klebanov
Stephen Shenker
Leonard Susskind

See also



  1. ^ a b c d e f "ICTP honors four with Dirac Medals". Physics Today. 40 (5): 107–108. 1987. Bibcode:1987PhT....40e.107.. doi:10.1063/1.2820038.
  2. ^ "Witten and Jones receive Fields Medals for physics-related work". Physics Today. 44 (2): 111–112. 1991. Bibcode:1991PhT....44b.111.. doi:10.1063/1.2810004.
  3. ^ "Wolf Prizes go to Ginzburg, Nambu and Moser". Physics Today. 48 (1): 66. 1995. Bibcode:1995PhT....48Q..66.. doi:10.1063/1.2807883.
  4. ^ Schwarzschild, Bertram (2008). "Physics Nobel Prize to Nambu, Kobayashi, and Maskawa for theories of symmetry breaking". Physics Today. 61 (12): 16–20. Bibcode:2008PhT....61l..16S. doi:10.1063/1.3047652.
  5. ^ "Wolf Foundation honors Wheeler for physics, Keller and Sinai for mathematics". Physics Today. 50 (2): 85. 1997. Bibcode:1997PhT....50Q..85.. doi:10.1063/1.2806531.
  6. ^ a b "Dirac Medallists 1987 | ICTP". www.ictp.it. Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  7. ^ a b "Dirac Medallists 1988 | ICTP". www.ictp.it. Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  8. ^ "Dirac Medallists 1989 | ICTP". www.ictp.it. Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  9. ^ a b "Dirac Medallists 1990 | ICTP". www.ictp.it. Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  10. ^ a b c "ICTP awards Dirac Medals for work in theoretical physics". Physics Today. 46 (3): 99–100. 1993. Bibcode:1993PhT....46c..99.. doi:10.1063/1.2808851.
  11. ^ "Dirac Medallists 1993 | ICTP". www.ictp.it. Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  12. ^ "Dirac Medallist 1994 | ICTP". www.ictp.it. Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  13. ^ "Dirac Medallist 1995 | ICTP". www.ictp.it. Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  14. ^ a b "Dirac Medals Announced in Trieste". Physics Today. 49 (10): 91–91. 1996-10-01. doi:10.1063/1.2807816. ISSN 0031-9228.
  15. ^ "Dirac Medallists 1997 | ICTP". www.ictp.it. Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  16. ^ "Dirac Medallists 1998 | ICTP". www.ictp.it. Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  17. ^ "Dirac Medallist 1999 | ICTP". www.ictp.it. Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  18. ^ "Dirac Medallists 2000 | ICTP". www.ictp.it. Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  19. ^ "Dirac Medallist 2001 | ICTP". www.ictp.it. Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  20. ^ "Princeton Physicist Garners Dirac Medal". Physics Today. 54 (10): 85–85. 2001-10-01. doi:10.1063/1.1420565. ISSN 0031-9228.
  21. ^ "Dirac Medallists 2002 | ICTP". www.ictp.it. Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  22. ^ "Dirac Medallists 2003 | ICTP". www.ictp.it. Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  23. ^ "Dirac Medallists 2004 | ICTP". www.ictp.it. Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  24. ^ a b "Dirac Medallists 2005 | ICTP". www.ictp.it. Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  25. ^ "Dirac Medallist 2006 | ICTP". www.ictp.it. Retrieved 2023-10-19.
  26. ^ "Dirac Medallists 2007 | ICTP". www.ictp.it. Retrieved 2023-10-19.
  27. ^ "Dirac Medallists 2010 | ICTP". www.ictp.it. Retrieved 2023-10-19.
  28. ^ "Dirac Medallists 2009 | ICTP". www.ictp.it. Retrieved 2023-10-19.
  29. ^ "Dirac Medallists 2010 | ICTP". www.ictp.it. Retrieved 2023-10-19.
  30. ^ "Dirac Medallists 2011 | ICTP". www.ictp.it. Retrieved 2023-10-19.
  31. ^ "Dirac Medallists 2012 | ICTP". www.ictp.it. Retrieved 2023-10-19.
  32. ^ "Dirac Medallists 2013 | ICTP". www.ictp.it. Retrieved 2023-10-19.
  33. ^ "Dirac Medallists 2014 | ICTP". www.ictp.it. Retrieved 2023-10-19.
  34. ^ "Dirac Medallists 2015 | ICTP". www.ictp.it. Retrieved 2023-10-19.
  35. ^ "Dirac Medallists 2016 | ICTP". www.ictp.it. Retrieved 2023-10-19.
  36. ^ "ICTP – Dirac Medallists 2017". www.ictp.it. Archived from the original on 2021-03-05. Retrieved 2017-08-08.
  37. ^ "ICTP – Dirac Medallists 2018". www.ictp.it. Archived from the original on 2021-02-03. Retrieved 2018-08-08.
  38. ^ "ICTP – Dirac Medallists 2019". www.ictp.it. Archived from the original on 2020-10-28. Retrieved 2019-08-08.
  39. ^ ""ICTP – Dirac Medallists 2020"". Archived from the original on 2021-08-17. Retrieved 2020-08-15.
  40. ^ ""ICTP – Dirac Medallists 2021"". Archived from the original on 2021-08-09. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  41. ^ ""ICTP – Dirac Medallists 2022"". Archived from the original on 2022-08-09. Retrieved 2022-08-09.
  42. ^ "Dirac Medallists 2023 | ICTP". www.ictp.it. Retrieved 2023-08-10.