ICTP awarded its 2021 Dirac Medal and Prize to four physicists whose theoretical work underpinned the 2015 detection of gravitational waves generated by black holes. The 2021 Dirac Medallists are: Alessandra Buonanno, Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, Germany Thibault Damour, Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques (IHÉS), France Frans Pretorius, Princeton University, USA, Saul Teukolsky, Caltech and Cornell University, USA. The four physicists have received the medal for establishing the predicted properties of gravitational waves in the curvature of spacetime produced when stars or black holes spiral together and merge. Their work was essential for the detection of gravitational waves from these energetic astronomical events by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). Alessandra Buonanno is the second woman to receive the Dirac Medal in its nearly 40-year history. The feature article is available at: https://www.ictp.it/about-ictp/media-centre/news/2021/8/dirac-2021-announce.aspx
The 2021 Dirac Medal and Prize Ceremony will take place on Thursday 14 July at 15.00 hrs in the Budinich Lecture Hall @ ICTP. An introduction to the work of the four Medallists will be given by Prof. Kip Thorne (online).
The programme synopsis follows:
Talk by Prof. Alessandra Buonanno on "Ever More Accurate Predictions of Black-Hole Dynamics and Gravitational Radiation"
Talk by Prof. Thibault Damour on "Black Hole Binary Dynamics from Classical and Quantum Gravitational Scattering"
Talk by Prof. Frans Pretorius, on "Open Questions on the Dynamics of Black Holes"
Talk by Prof. Saul Teukolsky on "The Coming Revolution in Computational Astrophysics" (online)
Large-scale computer simulations are increasingly crucial in explaining astrophysical phenomena. For the past 60 years, the dominant computer method for solving these kinds of equations has remained essentially unchanged. To keep up with continuing advances in observation, simulations will require more fidelity and higher accuracy. One might think that with exascale machines becoming available in the next few years, this will be easy. I will explain why this is not true, and why current codes will not be able to use these machines efficiently. I will describe new methods for harnessing the power of such exascale computers to solve some of the largest problems in astrophysics, including general relativity.
For those who wish to participate online, please register in advance at the following Zoom link: