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Crafoord Prizes for 2012 awarded

Black holes and mathematical analysis have won four scientists a total of 8 million Swedish kronor (US$1.2 million) in this year’s Crafoord prizes.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Science rotates the Crafoords through several disciplines and this year astronomy and mathematics are in the frame.

Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez take the astronomy prize for their work showing that a black hole probably resides at the centre of the Milky Way (see: Seeing our centre). Genzel works at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany, and Ghez is based at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

This year’s Crafoord prize in maths goes to Jean Bourgain and Terence Tao. Tao is based at UCLA and writes the What’s New blog (where he recently discussed some of Bourgain’s work). His work covers multiple areas including harmonic analysis and the study of partial differential equations. Bourgain is based at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, and also works in harmonics, as well as other areas including ergodic theory.

The prizes are worth 4 million Swedish kronor each ($590,000). Next year’s awards will be for geoscience.


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