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Dr. Vafa Presented with Dirac Medal

Contribution to superstring theory recognised

For his significant contributions to superstring theory, Dr. Cumrun Vafa of Harvard University was presented the Dirac Medal at ICTP on 19 June 2009. Dr. Vafa is one of three string theorists to win the 2008 Medal; co-medalists Juan Martín Maldacena and Joseph Polchinski received their awards at a March ceremony that Dr. Vafa was unable to attend.

Following the presentation, Dr. Vafa delivered a lecture on ‘Stringy Predictions for Particle Physics.’ He spoke of “peeling off relevant aspects of string theory to address the problems in particle physics.” He told the audience how the ‘extra’ dimensions of string theory are being used to solve some puzzles in the field. A detailed interview with Dr. Vafa and his Dirac Medal co-winners will appear in the upcoming ICTP Newsletter.

The Dirac Medal is given in honour of P.A.M. Dirac, one of the greatest physicists of the 20th century and a staunch friend of ICTP, to scientists who have made significant contributions to physics. Recipients are announced annually on Dirac's birthday, 8 August. The medalists also receive a prize of US $5,000.



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