A guy named Yuri Milner, who happens to be perhaps the world’s most successful investor in social media, recently announced that he will dish out 3 million dollars each year to the most influential thinkers in fundamental physics. To make a jump start he already donated 27 million dollars for nine prizes.
The laureates this year are: Nima Arkani-Hamed, Juan Maldacena, Alan Guth, Nathan Seiberg, Alexei Kitaev, Ashoke Sen , Maxim Kontsevich , Edward Witten and Andrei Linde. For more info about their achievements head here.
So how is this prize different from the Nobel Prize? As you know the Nobel prize is awarded for discoveries, which were experimentally confirmed, for instance, the Higgs boson. The Fundamental Physics Prize on the other hand can be awarded for theoretical achievements which haven’t been confirmed yet, which can be quite good for physicists working in very esoteric fields, which cannot be experimentally confirmed quite yet. Also it is awarded to more than 3 people, which is also an advantage.
There are two types of prizes — Fundamental Physics Prize and The New Horizon in Physics prize. The first one is awarded for past achievements in Physics or closely related field, whereas the second one is awarded to the promising young researchers.
The great thing about this prizes is that anyone can nominate his favourite candidate online. That’s right, you can nominate anyone you like on the FPP website, which I highly recommend, although the voting is not opened yet.