Maldacena Shares 2008 Dirac Medal

The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) has awarded the 2008 Dirac Medal to Juan Maldacena, Professor in the School of Natural Sciences; Joseph Polchinski of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of California at Santa Barbara; and Cumrun Vafa of Harvard University (Joint Member, School of Mathematics and School of Natural Sciences, 1994) for their fundamental contributions to superstring theory. The Dirac Medal, established in 1985, is one of the world's most prestigious prizes in physics. Recipients receive a cash award and medal, and they also present a lecture at the ICTP in Trieste, Italy, at an official ceremony.

Previous Dirac Medal winners associated with the Institute include Director Peter Goddard (1997), Faculty members Stephen L. Adler (1998) and Edward Witten (1985), and former Faculty members Frank Wilczek (1994) and Tullio Regge (1996). Curtis G. Callan (2004), a former Member who is currently a Trustee of the Institute, also received the prize. The announcement of the Dirac Medal is made each year on August 8, the birth date of the 20th century physicist Paul A.M. Dirac, who won the Nobel Prize in 1933. Dirac, who was a Member in the School of Mathematics in 1934-35, 1946, 1947-48, 1958-59, and 1962-63, was a close associate and friend of ICTP from the Centre's first days in the early 1960s until his death in 1984.