Archive for Shaw Prize for Astronomy

The Shaw Prize goes to Simon White

Posted in The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , on May 23, 2017 by telescoper

MPI Astro Physik – Prof .Simon White

To happier things. I was delighted to see just now that Simon White (above) has won this year’s Shaw Prize for Astronomy. The prize was awarded..

for his contributions to understanding structure formation in the Universe. With powerful numerical simulations he has shown how small density fluctuations in the early Universe develop into galaxies and other nonlinear structures, strongly supporting a cosmology with a flat geometry, and dominated by dark matter and a cosmological constant.

The citation seems a bit strange to me because Simon’s contributions to astronomy and cosmology are many and varied, but it’s in any case an extremely well-justified award. In a field filled with very many very clever people, Simon is definitely one of the cleverest!

The announcement of this awarded reminded me that I was one of the co-authors of a paper with Simon White, but looking it up I realized that was way back in 1993! Where does the time go?

Anyway, hearty congratulations to Simon! I think it’s his round…


The 2014 Shaw Prize for Astronomy

Posted in The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , on May 27, 2014 by telescoper

So I came back to Brighton this morning after a nice long weekend in Cardiff. I took the 6.28 train via Southampton to avoid London and got to the University of Sussex in time to chair the University Human Resources Committee, the usual Chair being unwell. Anyway, all this means that I’ve been a bit busy this afternoon and also a bit tired all of which adds up to no time for a long post.

Fortunately, some nice news appeared to give me a topic for a very quick blog post. Earlier today the winners were announced for the 2014 Shaw Prize in Astronomy. This year’s award actually goes to three cosmologists, Daniel Eisenstein from Harvard, Shaun Cole from Durham  and John Peacock from Edinburgh. The prize of a cool $1Million goes 50% to Eisenstein; the other half is shared equally between Shaun and John. Nice to see another British success!

The citation reads

for their contributions to the measurements of features in the large-scale structure of galaxies used to constrain the cosmological model including baryon acoustic oscillations and redshift-space distortions.

It seems clear that John and Shaun were awarded their half of the prize because of their important work on the Anglo-Australian Two Degree Field Galaxy Redshift Survey (2dFGRS) and Daniel for leading a corresponding analysis of data derived from a survey of Luminous Red Galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.

It’s a bit of a coincidence that baryon acoustic oscillations cropped up in this work, after my post last week about Sakharov Oscillations!

Anyway, congratulations to all three winners. No doubt they’ll be buying a few celebratory drinks for their colleagues in the very near future…