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ICTP awards its 2014 Dirac Medal to String Theorists

Warm congratulations to Gabriele Veneziano, one of the three recipients of the 2014 Dirac Medal.

Gabriele will share the award with Ashoke Sen (India) and Andrew Strominger (USA), all three physicists who have made crucial contributions to the origin, development and further understanding of string theory.  

Gabriele, graduated in Theoretical Physics in Florence in 1965   under the direction of Professor Raoul Gatto. He started his academic career at MIT in the U.S, later returning to Weizman Institute as a full professor. He joined CERN as a staff member in 1978 and was the director of the Division of Theoretical Studies of CERN from 1994 to 1997.

String theory derives its name from its proposition that matter is made up of  one-dimensional, string-like objects. It is a candidate for the fundamental theory of nature that attempts to provide a unified explanation of the Universe's origins and its composition. It is concerned with the particles and forces of nature, especially gravity, the one force that does not fit with the current understanding of quantum mechanics.  

Gabriele Veneziano has made numerous contributions to theoretical physics. As a research fellow at CERN in 1968, he discovered that a string picture could describe the interaction of strongly interacting particles; a strange coincidence that led to the formulation of the rudiments of string theory.

Ashoke Sen is a professor at the Harish-Chandra Research Institute (HRI) in Allahabad, India, whose research on black holes and the symmetries of string theory have been highly influential in the field. Finally, Andrew Strominger, a professor of physics at Harvard University, USA, has been a major figure in uncovering geometric solutions of string theory and has made important contributions to the understanding of black holes in quantum gravity.  

ICTP's Dirac Medal, first awarded in 1985, is given in honour of P.A.M. Dirac, one of the greatest physicists of the 20th century and a staunch friend of the Centre. It is awarded annually on Dirac's birthday, 8 August, to scientists who have made significant contributions to theoretical physics.


About ICTP

ICTP, founded by Nobel Laureate Abdus Salam in 1964, is an international research institute for physical and mathematical sciences based in Trieste, Italy, that aims to promote scientific excellence in the developing world. ICTP seeks to accomplish its mandate by providing scientists from developing countries with the continuing education and skills that they need to enjoy long and productive careers. The Centre operates under a tripartite agreement with the Government of Italy, UNESCO and the IAEA.