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21 Mar, 2013 10:26

Russian-American physicist gets $3mn prize

Russian-American physicist gets $3mn prize

Physicist Alexander Polyakov has been awarded $3 million as recognition for his scientific achievements. The Fundamental Physics Prize is the most lucrative scientific award, with three times the Nobel Prize-money.

The Russian-American winner of the 2013 Fundamental Physics Prize was announced at a special ceremony in Geneva on Wednesday.

"I feel elated and surprised to receive this recognition," Polyakov said at the ceremony. "It is a great honor. I hope it will help attract more people to the field of physics and spur innovation and discovery across the globe."

The 67-year-old scientist said he already knows what to do with the millions. His son is suffering from autism, and the money, he says, will be used for his treatment.

Alexander Polyakov is legendary for his wide-ranging contributions to theoretical physics. He was born in the Soviet Union in 1945, but emigrated to US and has been working at Princeton University for the last two decades. He is best known for quantum field theory and his name is found on hundreds of titles.

The Geneva event honored 16 other scientists, including world-famous British scholar Stephen Hawking, who also got a special prize, as well as CERN scientists who led the decades-long effort to find the Higgs boson particle at the Large Hadron Collider.

The Fundamental Physics Prize was established by the Russian entrepreneur Yury Milner, founder of internet companies DST Global and Mail.ru Group. In 2012, Milner was included in the '50 Most Influential' list of Bloomberg Markets Magazine.