Asimina Arvanitaki Perimeter Particle Physicist Awarded New Horizons Prize

December 5, 2016

WATERLOO, ONTARIO, CANADA – Dr. Asimina Arvanitaki, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Aristarchus Chair at the Perimeter Institute, has won the prestigious New Horizons in Physics Prize, making her the fifth Perimeter Institute faculty member to earn the award since its establishment in 2013. Arvanitaki was recognized for her pioneering work that bridges theory and experiment to forge novel ways of exploring particle physics. The New Horizons in Physics Prize from the Breakthrough Foundation is a $100,000 award that recognizes exceptionally promising young researchers, like Arvanitaki.

“My field of research, involving small-scale particle physics experiments, is a relatively new one, so it is rewarding for it to get this kind of recognition from the physics community,” said Arvanitaki.

Arvanitaki joined Perimeter Institute in 2014, after earning an undergraduate degree from the University of Athens and a PhD from Stanford University. Her research is broad and interdisciplinary, testing theories that are beyond the Standard Model, including supersymmetry, dark matter, and extra dimensions.

“Perimeter recruited Asimina precisely because she is a daring and unconventional young physicist developing exciting new paradigms for testing fundamental physics using precision experiments,” said Perimeter Director Neil Turok.

He continued, “This well-deserved recognition underlines the importance and timeliness of her work. We hope it inspires others to be similarly ambitious and visionary. We are proud that five of our scientists have now won this, the largest prize awarded to young theoretical physicists, in the short time since its creation – more than any other institution worldwide.”

Previous winners of the New Horizons in Physics Prize include Perimeter’s Davide Gaiotto (2013), Freddy Cachazo (2014), and Philip Schuster and Natalia Toro (2015).

Earlier in 2016, Arvanitaki was named the inaugural Stavros Niarchos Foundation Aristarchus Chair in Theoretical Physics at Perimeter Institute. This $8-million chair supports pioneering research into the universe at its most fundamental level, and fosters research and training ties between Perimeter Institute and Greece.

Andreas Dracopoulos, co-President and Director of the SNF, said “We are honored to support the work of young innovative scientists such as Asimina Arvanitaki through our contribution to the Perimeter Institute, a world-class institution that provides scientists with the high-caliber environment necessary for important scientific contributions to flourish and excel.”

Additionally, Perimeter Institute Distinguished Visiting Research Chair (DVRC) Andrew Strominger was among co-recipients of the $3-million Breakthrough Prize in Theoretical Physics, and Perimeter DVRC Frans Pretorius won a New Horizons prize. 

Perimeter Institute is the world’s largest research hub devoted to theoretical physics. The independent Institute was founded in 1999 to foster breakthroughs in the fundamental understanding of our universe, from the smallest particles to the entire cosmos. Research at Perimeter is motivated by the understanding that fundamental science advances human knowledge and catalyzes innovation, and that today’s theoretical physics is tomorrow’s technology. Located in the Region of Waterloo, the not-for-profit Institute is a unique public-private endeavor, including the Governments of Ontario and Canada, that enables cutting-edge research, trains the next generation of scientific pioneers, and shares the power of physics through award-winning educational outreach and public engagement.



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