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Research award for Professor Mukhanov

Munich, 07/11/2013

This year’s Gruber Prize for Cosmology has been awarded jointly to Professor Viatcheslav Mukhanov of the Physics Faculty at LMU and his compatriot Alexei Starobinsky.

Professor Viatcheslav Mukhanov (Foto: LMU)
Professor Viatcheslav Mukhanov (Source: LMU)

The Gruber Prize for Cosmology is awarded to researchers whose work has made a significant contribution to our understanding of the Universe. The accolade is awarded annually by the Gruber Foundation, which is based at Yale University, and is worth 500,000 dollars.

Viatcheslav Mukhanov, who shares this year‘s Gruber Prize with Alexei Starobinsky, holds the Chair of Cosmology at LMU. Mukhanov has proposed conceptual models that describe how the large-scale structure of the Universe could have developed, and provide insight into the origins of black holes and dark energy. His approach is based on the tenets of quantum theory, which describes the behavior of the most basic constituents of matter and energy.

Mukhanov is one of a select group of researchers who have made significant contributions to the theory of cosmic inflation, which postulates that the Universe underwent a phase of extraordinarily rapid expansion very soon after the Big Bang. In 1981 he was the first physicist to make use of quantum mechanical phenomena to account for major aspects of the structure of the Universe as we now observe it. His calculations were confirmed 30 years later thanks to detailed mapping of the cosmic microwave background radiation. His latest work has been devoted to the elaboration of the so-called k-essence theory, which attempts to explain why the Universe is now dominated by dark energy.

In 2011 Viatcheslav Mukhanov received the highest honor awarded to foreign researchers by the French Government, the Chaire Blaise Pascal. He has also received numerous other awards for his distinguished achievements in research. The Soviet Academy of Sciences bestowed its Gold Medal upon him, and he has won the Oskar Klein Medal awarded by the Nobel Prize Committee and the University of Stockholm. In 2009 he received the Tomalla Prize awarded by the Swiss Tomalla Foundation for Gravity Research, while the Italian Society for General Relativity conferred its Amaldi Medal on him in 2012.                 nh

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