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Charles Bennett and WMAP team win Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics

4 December 2017

Professor Charles L Bennett, who won our Isaac Newton Medal and Prize for 2017, is among the winners of the 2018 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, it was announced yesterday.

Charles Bennett and WMAP team win Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics

The Breakthrough Prizes were co-founded in 2012 by Mark Zuckerberg, who said they were “created to celebrate the achievements of scientists, physicists, and mathematicians, whose genius help us understand our world, and whose advances shape our future.”

The award has been made to the entire 27-member Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) team “for detailed maps of the early universe that greatly improved our knowledge of the evolution of the cosmos and the fluctuations that seeded the formation of galaxies,” the Breakthrough Foundation said. It names the five leaders of the team, headed by Professor Bennett and including Dr Gary Hinshaw (University of British Columbia), Dr Norman Jarosik (Princeton University), Professor Lyman Page Jr (Princeton University) and Professor David N Spergel (Princeton University).

The team will share the $3 million prize, which was announced in a televised gala ceremony in Silicon Valley, California, hosted by celebrated actor Morgan Freeman.

Our chief executive, Professor Paul Hardaker, conducted an interview with Professor Bennett when he came to the Institute on 8 November to deliver the Isaac Newton Lecture.