Prize Recipient

Recipient Picture

Ian Affleck
University of British Columbia


"For his pioneering role in developing and applying the ideas and methods of conformal field theory to important problems in statistical and condensed matter physics, including the quantum critical behavior of spin chains and (with Ludwig) the universal behavior of quantum impurity systems."


Ian Affleck received his B.Sc. in Physics and Mathematics from Trent University (Peterborough, Ontario) in 1975 and his PhD from Harvard in 1979, with Sidney Coleman. After a post-doc in the Harvard Society of Fellows, Affleck held faculty positions at Princeton, Boston University and University of British Columbia, where he has spent most of the last 24 years. He began his research career in high energy theory, working mainly on instantons and supersymmetry, before switching into condensed matter theory in 1984, during a sabbatical at CEN Saclay, while his colleagues back at Princeton were all switching into string theory. Since then his research has benefited from applying field theory techniques from high energy theory to problems in condensed matter theory with notable accomplishments in quantum magnetism, theories of high-Tc superconductivity and the Kondo effect. He delights in finding mathematically elegant solutions to experimentally relevant problems. He is a fellow of the APS, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, the Royal Society of Canada and the Royal Society (London) and has received numerous Canadian awards and honors including the Stacey Prize, Herzberg Medal and Rutherford Prize.

Selection Committee:

Alan Dorsey, Chair; B. Schmittmann; A.B. Zamolochikov; B. Chakraborty; E. Fradkin