The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) and the Centre de recherches mathématiques (CRM) are very pleased to announce that the 2005 CAP-CRM Prize in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics has been awarded to Professor Robert C. Myers of the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo for his outstanding contributions to theoretical physics, ranging from aspects in gravitational physics to foundational aspects of string theory.
After a B.Sc. in Applied Physics in Waterloo in 1982, Robert Myers went to Princeton University where he completed a M. Sc. (1983) and a Ph. D. (1986) under the supervision of Professor M.J. Perry. He then held a postdoctoral position at the Institute for Theoretical Physics of the University of Santa Barbara, and he joined McGill University in 1989, where he became a Full Professor in 2000. Since 2001, he is a Long-Term Researcher at the new Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, and also holds a cross-appointment as a Full Professor in the Physics Department at the University of Waterloo.
Robert Myers has played a pivotal role in the development of string theory and is one of its most broad and creative researchers. We highlight here some of his contributions, which have had a tremendous impact in theoretical physics.
His work in the 1980's (some in collaboration with M. Perry) generalized the standard four dimensional rotating black hole solution in general relativity to higher dimensions. These metrics have been the starting point for a number of recent constructions of brane solutions in string theory. His work on non-critical string theory shed profound new insights into the dimensionality of space-time in string theory, by showing that the string theory made sense in dimensions other than the critical dimension originally envisioned.
His 1999 paper on the dielectric effect for branes, known in the community as the Myers effect, has been highly influential. Guided by duality, he constructed a consistent action for branes moving in a background field, and thereby discovered the Myers effect which describes how in the presence of background fields, a stack of branes will become polarized and spread out.
This deep insight has in turn inspired a number of important contributions by some of the leading researchers in string theory and quantum gravity.
His very recent work also include significant and exciting contributions in a number of different areas. With his collaborators, Robert Myers have found new constructions of cosmic strings that can have a profound consequences in finding experimental support for string theory. This work is one of the few genuine ''stringy'' predictions that have come out of string theory, and opens up the exciting possibility of testing string theory by making astronomical observations.
The high quality of the research of Professor Myers has been recognized by several prestigious research awards, such as the CAP's Herzberg Medal, and the first award in the Gravity Research Foundation Essay Contest (that he won twice).
The 2005 CAP-CRM Prize will be presented to Professor Myers at the Annual Congress of the CAP which will take place in June 2005 in Vancouver, where the prize lecture will be given.