Scientific Calendar Event

Starts 28 Aug 2023 14:00
Ends 28 Aug 2023 17:30
Central European Time
Leonardo Building - Budinich Lecture Hall
Strada Costiera 11 34151 Trieste, Italy
ICTP awarded its 2022 Dirac Medal to three distinguished physicists "for groundbreaking and mathematically rigorous contributions to the understanding of the statistical mechanics of classical and quantum physical systems".

The 2022 Dirac Medallists are:
Joel L. Lebowitz, Center for Mathematical Sciences Research, Rutgers, State University of New Jersey, USA
Elliott H. Lieb, Princeton University, USA
David P. Ruelle, Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques, France.

The 2022 Dirac Medal and Award Ceremony will take place at ICTP in person on Monday 28 August 2023 at 14.00 hrs.

The event will be followed by the Graduation Ceremony of ICTP's 2022/2023 Postgraduate Diploma Students, scheduled to start at 15.30, during which the Qaisar and Monika Shafi Prize for an outstanding ICTP Postgraduate Diploma student will be awarded. Qaisar and Monika Shafi are long-time friends and supporters of ICTP. They established a prize for the best Diploma student of the year in order to recognize and encourage the next generation of young scientists. 

Talks by Dirac Medallists:

Talk by Prof. Joel Lebowitz on "Boltzmann's Entropy for Macroscopic Systems: Classical and Quantum"
Abstract: Bolzmann's entropy is defined for individual macroscopic systems in a specified macrostate; equilibrium or not. In the latter case it satisfies the second law of thermodynamics which characterizes the time evolution of a typical isolated macroscopic system in a non-equilibrium macrostate. The time asymmetry of this observed evolution can be understood as arising from: a) the great disparity between microscopic and macroscopic sizes, b) initial conditions, and c) what we observe are typical behaviours | not all imaginable ones. While Boltzmann considered classical microscopic laws his conclusions also hold, with some modifications, for quantum systems.

Talk by Prof. Elliott H. Lieb on " The Interaction of Mathematics and Physics "
Abstract: Prof. Lieb's career has been very much involved with the interaction of these two fields. During his talk, Prof. Lieb will briefly discuss two examples from his work: the Ice Model and the bound obtained with Walter Thirring on the sum of the negative eigenvalues of the Schroedinger operator.

Talk by Prof. David Ruelle "On the nature of properly human mathematics"
Abstract: We claim that human mathematics is only a limited part of the consequences of the chosen basic axioms. Properly human mathematics varies with time but appears to have universal features which we try to analyse. In particular the functioning of the human brain privileges concept naming and short formulations. This leads to organizing mathematical knowledge structurally. We consider briefly the problem of non-mathematical sciences.

More information on the 2022 Awardees is available at:

Light refreshments will be served on the terrace after the event.

The event will be livestreamed from the ICTP website:

The Dirac Medal and Prize Ceremony takes place during the School on Quantum Many-Body Phenomena out of Equilibrium: from Chaos to Criticality at ICTP. The goal of this school will be to give an overview of frontier research topics in the context of non-equilibrium quantum many-body dynamics and present a series of theoretical lectures and seminars covering experimental platforms. For more information, see: