2014 Medal Winners | francais

The 2014 CAP-CRM Prize in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics

is awarded to

Mark Van Raamsdonk

"I would like to thank the CAP and CRM for this tremendous honour. I am most grateful for the support of my family, my collaborators, my department, the Canadian physics community, and the people of Canada." winner citation

The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) and the Centre de recherches mathématiques (CRM) are pleased to announce that the 2014 CAP-CRM Prize in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics is awarded to Mark Van Raamsdonk, University of British Columbia, in recognition of for his highly original, influential contributions to several areas of theoretical physics, including string theory, quantum field theory, and quantum gravity. Highlights include advances in the theory of D-branes and other non-perturbative objects in string theory, the ultraviolet-infrared mixing in non-commutative quantum field theory, and the deconfinement transition in gauge theory, as well as his novel proposal that the emergence of spacetime is profoundly connected with quantum entanglement. announcement

Mark Van Raamsdonk is a theoretical physicist whose work lies in the field of string theory and quantum gravity. Through his work, he attempts to answer some of the grandest open question in theoretical physics: What is space? What is time? How did our universe begin? How will it end? What is inside a black hole? Some of his most significant contributions include a study of actions governing the interactions of multiple D-branes (fundamental degrees of freedom in strongly coupled string theory) with gravitational and other classical fields, a discovery of UV-IR mixing in quantum field theories on noncommutative spacetime, and the first analytic study of deconfinement in a four dimensional gauge theory. In 2008 his work lead to a breakthrough in which the actions governing membranes (fundamental degrees of freedom in M-theory) were explicitly determined for the first time. More recently, he has been pioneering a new approach to understanding the origin of classical spacetime in quantum gravity using entanglement of the underlying degrees of freedom. His innovative thinking mentions in the Gravity Research Foundation Essay Competition. Finally, throughout his career, he has made many novel contributions applying string theory to other areas of physics, from nuclear matter at high densities to properties of black holes.

Prof. Van Raamsdonk received his BSc from the University of British Columbia and his PhD from Princeton. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of British Columbia, where he has been since 2002. His work has been recognized by a Sloan Foundation Fellowship and a Canada Research Chair. nominator citation

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