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UT Austin Physicist Wins Award at Breakthrough Prize Ceremony

UT Austin Physicist Wins Award at Breakthrough Prize Ceremony

Raphael Flauger, an assistant professor in the Department of Physics, has won a prestigious award for early career achievement for his outstanding contributions to theoretical cosmology. At last night's Breakthrough Prize Awards Ceremony, sometimes called "The Oscars of Science," Flauger received the New Horizons in Physics Prize as a young scientist who has already produced important work in fundamental physics.

The New Horizons Prize of $100,000 is bestowed on physicists and mathematicians in conjunction with a program that provides millions of dollars in prizes for scientists conducting research in fundamental physics, the life sciences and mathematics.

"By challenging conventional thinking and expanding knowledge over the long term, scientists can solve the biggest problems of our time," said Mark Zuckerberg, one of the founders of the award, at the ceremony. He added that the prizes honor, "achievements in science and math so we can encourage more pioneering research and celebrate scientists as the heroes they truly are."

Flauger, who also received his Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin in 2009 under the supervision of Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg, works on models of the early universe and is seeking to understand what occurred in the aftermath of The Big Bang. His research aims to predict the use of cosmic microwave background data and to shed light on astrophysical processes.

Eight early-career physicists and mathematicians in total received New Horizons awards Sunday in Silicon Valley. Support for Breakthrough prizes comes from the Brin Wojcicki Foundation; Zuckerberg's fund at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation; the Jack Ma Foundation; and the Milner Global Foundation.

The Breakthrough Prize Awards were presented at a ceremony hosted by Seth MacFarlane last night. Part of the ceremony will be rebroadcast on the network television station FOX on Sunday, November 29, at 6 p.m.

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Saturday, 26 September 2020

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