Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Kavli Prizes Awarded

The Kavli Prizes were awarded today by the Kavli Foundation, and as promised, here are the winners:

The Kavli Prize for Astrophysics was awarded jointly to Maarten Schmidt, of the California Institute of Technology, US, and Donald Lynden-Bell, of Cambridge University, UK, for their work on Quasars. During the 1960s Schmidt analysed the visible light spectra of quasars and used the results to explain just how distant these extraordinarily bright galaxies are, while Lynden-Bell demonstrated how they were powered by the collapse of material into massive black holes.

The Kavli Prize for Nanoscience was awarded jointly to Louis E. Brus, of Columbia University, US, and Sumio Iijima, of Meijo University in Japan for their respective discoveries of colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals, also known as quantum dots, and carbon nanotubes. Major advances being predicted in fields as diverse as electronics, the environment, energy and biomedicine would not have been possible without Brus and Iijima’s contributions in explaining the unusual properties of particles so small that electron motion is confined to zero or one dimension.

The Kavli Prize for Neuroscience was awarded jointly to Pasko Rakic, of the Yale University School of Medicine, Thomas Jessell, of Columbia University, and Sten Grillner, of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden for work that helped decipher the basic mechanisms that govern the development and functioning of the networks of cells in the brain and spinal cord.

In addition to a scroll and a medal for each recipient, the award recipients for each of the three areas will split a $1 million prize.

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