The prestigious Kavli Prizes recognize scientists for major advances in three research areas: astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience—the big, the small and the complex. The 2016 winners, sharing a cash award of $1 million in each field, will be announced via live satellite from the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in Oslo.
For this year’s inaugural address, “The Future of Big Science,” Nobel laureate and physicist Steven Weinberg considers the future of fundamental physics, especially as funding for basic research is reduced. Weinberg will explore physics’ small origins, starting with the discovery of the atomic nucleus 100 years ago by a single scientist.
Professor Witten is a leading light of superstring theory and the only physicist to have won the vaunted Fields Medal, mathematics’ highest honor. Known for advancing a number of novel approaches in mathematics and physics, Witten opened up new vistas in 1995 when he unified five seemingly competing superstring theories into M-theory, which seeks to unify Einstein’s general theory of relativity with quantum mechanics.
Dark energy is cosmology’s biggest mystery—an anti-gravitational force that confounds the conventional laws of physics. It makes up more than two-thirds of the cosmos, but science is still grappling to explain what dark energy actually is.
As computers become progressively faster and more powerful, they’ve gained the impressive capacity to simulate increasingly realistic environments. Which raises a question familiar to aficionados of The Matrix—might life and the world as we know it be a simulation on a super advanced computer?
There is a revolution underway in the world of medicine. As researchers identify the genetic variants responsible for cancer, schizophrenia and diabetes, and doctors tailor medications and diagnostic tests specifically for your genomic makeup, we inch closer to personalized medicine.