2018 Medal Winners | francais

The 2018 CAP-CRM Prize in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics

is awarded to

Ariel Zhitnitsky

"It is a great honour to join the list of previous winners, given that every single name is associated with extraordinary achievements. This is especially true for the UBC Physics Department with 5 (now 6) members listed: Bill Unruh, Ian Affleck, Gordon Semenoff, Matt Choptuik, Mark Raamsdonk." winner citation

The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) and the Centre de recherches mathématiques (CRM) are pleased to announce that the 2018 CAP-CRM Prize in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics is awarded to Ariel Zhitnitsky, University of British Columbia, in recognition of for his ground-breaking contributions to theoretical high energy physics, in particular for his development of the ``invisible axion" model, and for his work on the vacuum structure of non-Abelian gauge theories. announcement

Ariel Zhitnitsky is a Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UBC. He has made several highly innovative contributions to theoretical physics. One of Eric’s most influential ideas was published shortly after he finished his PhD, when he proposed that the Strong CP problem in the Standard Model could be resolved by a nearly invisible axion.
This paper has over 1000 citations and has influenced experimental searches, and the proposed axions are a candidate for cosmological cold dark matter. Another influential work was accomplished with V. Chernyak, providing a set of wavefunctions that allow computation of exclusive amplitudes at high energies, such as form-factors or two-particle decays of heavy mesons. A series of papers with D. Son analysed anomalous topological non-dissipating currents in dense matter using an effective Lagrangian approach. Zhitnitsky later investigated the roles of these topological currents in neutron stars as a model for kicks and superconductivity. With D. Kharzeev, he further used these results to explain the CP-odd asymmetries observed at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, and proposed that the bulk of dark matter is anti-baryonic so that the Universe as a whole could be baryon-symmetric. Prof. Zhitnitsky has made key contributions to our understanding of the QCD phase transition, hadron physics, dark matter, QCD axions and neutron stars. nominator citation

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