APS News

APS Members Win 2019 Breakthrough Prizes

Several APS members, Fellows, and past APS award recipients receive top prizes

October 22, 2018 | Amanda Babcock

For the past seven years, the Breakthrough Prizes have recognized the world’s top scientists in the fields of life sciences, fundamental physics, and mathematics. This year’s recipients include several APS members: Xiaowei Zhuang (Harvard University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute) won in the life sciences category; in physics, the winners were Charles Kane and Eugene Mele (both of University of Pennsylvania). The New Horizons in Physics Prize for Early-Career Achievement also featured APS members Rana Adhikari (Caltech), Lisa Barsotti (MIT), Matthew Evans (MIT), and Aron Wall (Stanford University).

Zhuang 400x400
HHMI

Xiaowei Zhuang

Kane-Mele photos
University of Pennsylvania

Charles Kane and Eugene Mele

Zhuang is one of four Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences recipients this year. The citation for the award highlights her discovery of hidden structures in cells following her development of super-resolution imaging. The technique allows for imaging of molecules and cell structures 10000x smaller than the human hair. An APS Fellow, Zhuang received the 2010 APS Max Delbruck Prize in Biological Physics for her contributions to the field of super resolution optical microscopy.

Kane and Mele are recognized jointly for their work on topology and symmetry in physics. Their work lead to the prediction of a new class of materials: topological insulators. Kane was also awarded the 2012 APS Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Physics Prize. The joint recipients of the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics are both APS Fellows.

In addition to the main Breakthrough prizes, up to three New Horizons in Physics and in Mathematics Prizes are given out each year. These awards are specifically aimed at recognizing junior researchers early in their careers. One of the New Horizons in Physics prizes is shared jointly by Adhikari, Barsotti, and Evans for their ongoing research on ground-based gravitational wave detectors. Wall shares a prize for work on quantum information, quantum field theory, and quantum gravity.

The Breakthrough Prize is a $3 million award and includes participation in a program of lectures and discussions. The awards will be presented at a ceremony on November 4. For more information on the Breakthrough Prizes and this year’s recipients, visit breakthroughprize.org.

 

The author is the Science Writing Intern at APS in College Park, Maryland.

News Update Archive

View Archive


APS News

Read Current Issue


Recent News Update
Spring 2022 APS Prizes and Awards Recipients
APS has announced the Society’s Spring 2022 prize and award recipients.
Next-Generation Fellowship Supports Diverse Voices within Nuclear Weapons Policy Field
Applications for a new cohort of Next-Generation Fellows closes November 30, 2021.
2021 Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded for Research in Complex Systems
The Royal Swedish Academy has announced the recipients of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics.
Physical Review Journals Announce Inclusive Name-Change Policy
New initiative allows authors to change their previously published names for any reason.
Past APS President Laura Greene Appointed to President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology
The Biden-Harris Administration today announced the appointment of Laura Greene, Chief Scientist at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory and the MarieKrafft Professor of Physics at Florida State University, to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).
APS Celebrates Undergraduate Research with the LeRoy Apker Award Finalists
Seven undergraduates showcased their physics research at the annual Apker selection meeting.