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Gruber Cosmology Prize Goes to Nick Kaiser & Joe Silk

Thursday, May 9, 2019 - 11:22

This post is adapted from a Gruber Foundation press release:

The 2019 Gruber Cosmology Prize recognizes Nicholas Kaiser (École Normale Supérieure, Paris) and Joseph Ivor Silk (Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris & Johns Hopkins University) for their seminal contributions to both the understanding of cosmological structure formation and the creation of new probes of dark matter. "Their work," the Gruber Prize citation reads, "has transformed modern cosmology" — not once but twice.

Kaiser and Silk will divide the $500,000 award, and each will receive a gold medal at a ceremony that will take place on 28 June at the CosmoGold conference at the Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, France.

Nicholas Kaiser and Joseph Silk
Nicholas Kaiser (left) & Joseph Silk. Silk photo: Jean Mouette/IAP-CNRS-SU.

Although the two theorists have worked mostly independently of each other, their results are complementary in the two major areas of research for which they are receiving the Gruber Prize.

In addition to the cash award, each recipient will receive a gold laureate pin and a citation that reads:

The Gruber Foundation is pleased to present the 2019 Cosmology Prize to Nicholas Kaiser and Joseph Ivor Silk, for their seminal contributions to the theory of cosmological structure formation and probes of dark matter.

Kaiser provided the mathematical description of primordial density fluctuations that have evolved into large-scale structure, while Silk predicted the eponymous damping scale imprinted on the cosmic microwave background anisotropies. Kaiser pioneered the analysis of weak gravitational lensing of light from distant galaxies by dark matter, while Silk recognized dark matter's indirect signatures such as antiprotons in cosmic rays and high energy neutrinos from the Sun. Their work has transformed modern cosmology.

In addition to the Gruber Cosmology Prize and many other honors, AAS member Joe Silk was our 2018 Henry Norris Russell lecturer. He gave his prize talk at the January 2019 AAS meeting in Seattle, Washington (photo gallery).

Richard Tresch Fienberg
AAS Press Officer