Prize Recipient

Steven S. Gubser
Princeton University


"For his achievements as an undergraduate student at Princeton University, particularly his research on 'Geodesic Distance in Two-Dimensional Quantum Gravity'."


As a senior at Princeton University, Gubser chose to focus on string theory and two-dimensional quantum gravity after reading a paper on the subject by a Japanese theorist. Specifically, he generalized that work to models of quantum gravity coupled to certain matter systems, simulated by random matrix models. These models were used to describe the evolution of a closed one-dimensional universe in geodesic time. He found that the central feature of that evolution is the constant emission of microscopic "baby universes" from the original "parent universe", the effects of which have been recently explored by such theorists as Stephen Hawking.

Some of Gubser's results were published in Nuclear Physics B, a standard reference on string theory and quantum gravity. Winner of the 1988 International Physics Olympiad when he was just 17, Gubser spent a month at the Ecole de Physique Theorique in France following his graduation from Princeton in 1993. He is presently pursuing graduate studies at Cambridge University, St. John's College.