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2010 CAP_CRM Prize Recipient

CRM > Prizes > CAP-CRM Prize > Recipients > Mark Van Raamsdonk

2014 CAP-CRM
Mark Van Raamsdonk (University of British Columbia)
[ français ]

March 27, 2015 lecture details

The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) and the Centre de recherches mathématiques (CRM) are pleased to announce that the 2014 CAP-CRM Prize In Theoretical And Mathematical Physics is awarded to Prof. Mark Van Raamsdonk, University of British Columbia, for his highly original, influential contributions to several areas of theoretical physics, including string theory, quantum field theory, and quantum gravity. Highlights include advances in the theory of D-branes and other non-perturbative objects in string theory, the ultraviolet-infrared mixing in non-commutative quantum field theory, and the deconfinement transition in gauge theory, as well as his novel proposal that the emergence of spacetime is profoundly connected with quantum entanglement.

Mark Van Raamsdonk is a theoretical physicist whose work lies in the field of string theory and quantum gravity. Through his work, he attempts to answer some of the grandest open question in theoretical physics: What is space? What is time? How did our universe begin? How will it end? What is inside a black hole? Some of his most significant contributions include a study of actions governing the interactions of multiple D-branes (fundamental degrees of freedom in strongly coupled string theory) with gravitational and other classical fields, a discovery of UV-IR mixing in quantum field theories on noncommutative spacetime, and the first analytic study of deconfinement in a four dimensional gauge theory. In 2008 his work lead to a breakthrough in which the actions governing membranes (fundamental degrees of freedom in M-theory) were explicitly determined for the first time. More recently, he has been pioneering a new approach to understanding the origin of classical spacetime in quantum gravity using entanglement of the underlying degrees of freedom. His innovative thinking mentions in the Gravity Research Foundation Essay Competition. Finally, throughout his career, he has made many novel contributions applying string theory to other areas of physics, from nuclear matter at high densities to properties of black holes.

Prof. Van Raamsdonk received his BSc from the University of British Columbia and his PhD from Princeton. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of British Columbia, where he has been since 2002. His work has been recognized by a Sloan Foundation Fellowship and a Canada Research Chair.

The annual CAP-CRM Prize in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics was first introduced in 1995.

Prof. Mark Van Raamsdonk will be presented with the 2014 CAP-CRM Prize in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics at the 2014 CAP Congress (hosted by Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, from June 16-20) at the end of his plenary talk and will be recognized during the Congress banquet to be held on Thursday, June 19, 2014. Please refer to the Congress program for the schedule of plenary talks by CAP medal winners.

The Canadian Association of Physicists, founded in 1945, is a professional association representing over 1600 individual physicists and physics students in Canada, the U.S. and overseas, as well as a number of Corporate, Institutional, and Departmental Members. In addition to its learned activities, the CAP also undertakes a number of activities intended to encourage students to pursue a career in physics.

The Centre de recherches mathé matiques is a national research centre in mathematics and theoretical physics jointly supported by the federal government, the province of Québec, and the Québec universities. The CRM is based at the Université de Montréal. Among the activities of the CRM are thematic years, summer schools, workshops, seminars, and the publication of monographs, proceedings, and lecture notes in mathematics and physics. The local community of Québec researchers are grouped in CRM's ten research laboratories.

For more information, please contact:

Canadian Association of Physicists
Tel: 613-562-5614
Fax: 613-562-5615
E-mail: cap@uottawa.ca

Centre de recherches mathé matiques
Tel: 514-343-7501
Fax: 514-343-2254

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The CRM created and administers, either alone or jointly, four of the eight major national prizes in the mathematical sciences, namely:  the CRM–Fields–PIMS Prize,  the Prize for Theoretical Physics awarded in collaboration with the Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP), the Prize for young researchers in Statistics awarded jointly with the Statistical Society of Canada (SSC), and the CRM Aisenstadt Prize awarded to rising young Canadian stars, selected by CRM's Scientific Advisory Panel. The CRM has invested enormously in time, effort and in its own resources, to propel leading Canadian scientists into the spotlight, giving them international recognition when they most need it. 

CRM–Fields–PIMS Prize