2021 Medal Winners | francais

The 2021 CAP Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Physics

is awarded to

Robert Brandenberger

"I am greatly honoured to have been chosen as recipient of the 2021 CAP Lifetime Achievement Medal. I am grateful to my teachers, my collaborators, my students and my family for their encouragement, and I look forward to many more interesting research results." winner citation

The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) is pleased to announce that the 2021 CAP Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Physics is awarded to Robert Brandenberger, McGill University, in recognition of to recognize his coupling of ground-breaking developments in theoretical cosmology with recent dramatic advances in observational astronomy of the early universe. announcement

Professor Brandenberger has been making contributions to early universe cosmology over a period of more than 35 years. His work was instrumental in establishing the tools which can be used to link predictions from models of the very early universe to cosmological observables. In particular, he has made fundamental contributions to the theory of cosmological perturbations, and his review article on this topic has become the standard reference.

Professor Brandenberger has done important work on early universe models. He has worked on inflationary cosmology, and in particular he and J. Traschen developed the key ideas to understand the transition between inflation and later time cosmology (reheating). Prof. Brandenberger is also one of the pioneers in exploring alternatives to inflation. In particular, in collaboration with C. Vafa (Harvard) he pioneered the exploration of the interface between superstring theory and cosmology.

In a ground-breaking paper in 1989, he and Vafa showed that superstring theory may lead to a resolution of the cosmological singularity. The model which Brandenberger and Vafa proposed (String Gas Cosmology) was then developed into a promising alternative to inflationary cosmology, a model which in fact makes predictions for upcoming observations. Since the mid 1980s, Professor Brandenberger has been a leader in the efforts to probe the connections between particle physics and cosmology by studying the effects of cosmic strings. nominator citation

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