Perimeter cosmologist shares in Breakthrough Prize


Perimeter cosmologist Kendrick Smith shares science’s richest prize as the WMAP experiment wins the 2018 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics.

It was the experiment that marked the end of the beginning. By mapping the radiation left over from the big bang – known as the cosmic microwave background – the Wilkinson Microwave Anistropy Probe (WMAP) brought precision to cosmology and set the stage for a deeper understanding of the universe.
 
Now, the team behind that experiment has won the 2018 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. The $3 million prize will be shared among the 27 team members, including Perimeter Institute cosmologist Kendrick Smith.
 
The prize is the richest in science. In awarding this year’s prize to the WMAP team, the Breakthrough Foundation cited the project’s highly lauded results. The detailed maps of the early universe produced by the WMAP team “greatly improved our knowledge of the evolution of the cosmos and the fluctuations that seeded the formation of galaxies,” the citation read.
 

 
Perimeter Institute Director Neil Turok offered his congratulations to the WMAP team, and to Smith in particular.
 
“The WMAP satellite, and the Planck satellite which followed it, revealed an astonishingly simple picture of the universe on large scales, providing invaluable clues to the fundamental physics of the cosmos,” he said.
 
“We congratulate the whole WMAP team, and our own Kendrick Smith in particular, on winning this wonderful prize. Kendrick played a key role in analyzing the data of both satellites, and continues to pioneer data analyses for CHIME, HIRAX, and other leading-edge experiments.”
 
This is the sixth time Perimeter researchers have been honoured at the Breakthrough Prizes. Previously, five researchers have won the $100,000 New Horizons in Physics Prize, which recognizes outstanding work by early career researchers: Asimina Arvanitaki in 2016, Philip Schuster and Natalia Toro in 2015, Freddy Cachazo in 2014, and Davide Gaiotto in 2013. Several of Perimeter’s Distinguished Visiting Research Chairs and Visiting Fellows have also been honoured.
 
– Tenille Bonoguore

FURTHER EXPLORATION:

  • Watch: Kendrick Smith explores cosmology in the 21st century (Perimeter Public Lecture Series)
  • People of PI: Data-driven cosmologist Kendrick Smith

 

Institut Périmètre de Physique Théorique

L'Institut Périmètre est le plus grand centre de recherche en physique théorique au monde. Fondé en 1999, cet institut indépendant vise à favoriser les percées dans la compréhension fondamentale de notre univers, des plus infimes particules au cosmos tout entier. Les recherches effectuées à l’Institut Périmètre reposent sur l'idée que la science fondamentale fait progresser le savoir humain et catalyse l'innovation, et que la physique théorique d'aujourd'hui est la technologie de demain. Situé dans la région de Waterloo, cet établissement sans but lucratif met de l'avant un partenariat public-privé unique en son genre avec entre autres les gouvernements de l'Ontario et du Canada. Il facilite la recherche de pointe, forme la prochaine génération de pionniers de la science et communique le pouvoir de la physique grâce à des programmes primés d'éducation et de vulgarisation.

 

http://www.perimeterinstitute.ca/

 

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“We congratulate the whole WMAP team, and our own Kendrick Smith in particular, on winning this wonderful prize.”

 

– Perimeter Institute Director Neil Turok