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Three cosmologists will share the ICTP Dirac Medal for 2002: Alan Guth, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Andrei Linde, Stanford University; and Paul Steinhardt, Princeton University. They are being recognised for their contributions to "developing the concept of inflation in cosmology." The theory of inflation, first presented in the 1980s, has shed revealing light on the early history of the universe, which experienced rapid expansion just after the Big Bang. The initial force of the expansion lasted only a fraction of a second but its intensity was sufficient to account for the enduring structure of the universe. Guth has been one of the pioneers of this theory, and Steinhardt and Linde have contributed substantially to our understanding of what has become a seminal concept in cosmology. Each winner will receive a medal and cheque for US$5000, and will visit the Centre at a later date to deliver his Dirac Lecture.

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