Russian Billionaire Makes Nine Physicists Instant Millionaires

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  1. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Long walk Elite Member

    Feb 21, 2012
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    Jewish Russian tech investor Yuri Miller made instant millionaires out of nine renowned physicists when he transferred $3 million to their banks accounts this week, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.


    Among the nine recipients of the Fundamental Physics Prize, which was established by Milner, was Israeli Professor Nathan Seiberg of the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton, NJ, whose research focuses on various aspects of string theory, quantum field theory, and particle physics.

    Eliezer Rabinovici of the Hebrew University's Racah Institute of Physics told Yedioth that Seiberg was the first Israeli to be accepted as a member at the IAS.

    "We are all very proud of him," Rabinovici said.

    Seiberg previously worked at the Weizmann Institute of Science.

    According to the New York Times, Milner is a former physics student who dropped out of graduate school in 1989 and later earned billions investing in Internet companies such as Facebook and Groupon.

    NYT reported that Milner declined to explain in detail how he selected which accomplishments to honor or why all of the winners are men. "I truly see this as a start," Milner said. "Going forward, it’s going to be up to the committee to make those considerations."

    Alan H. Guth, a professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was also among the winners. "It knocked me off my feet," NYT quoted the professor as saying.

    Guth said that before the transfer his bank account had a balance of $200. "Suddenly, it said, $3,000,200," he said. "The bank charged a $12 wire transfer fee, but that was easily affordable."

    Jewish Russian Billionaire Makes Nine Physicists Instant Millionaires - Shalom Life

    Indian scientist Ashoke Sen bags top physics honour


    Ashy an unassuming Indian scientist in Allahabad has won the world's biggest prize in physics . Ashoke Sen, a professor at the little known but exclusive Harish-Chandra Research Institute , Allahabad , was on Tuesday declared one of the winners of the first Fundamental Physics prize started by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner.

    Sen and eight other scientists will get $3 million each — double of what is given with the Nobel prize. Seven of the winners are based in the United States, one in France and one in India. Sen has been awarded for his pioneering work on string theory.

    Typically, Ashoke Sen deflected attention away from himself and pointed at others in the field in India. "You just see — there are going to be many more awards in the future for Indians," he told TOI from Allahabad.
    Yuri Milner made billions from investments in various internet-based companies after giving up his job as researcher at Moscow's Lebedev Physical Institute. He personally selected the winners of this year's award but in future the work would be done by a panel, he told media.

    Sen has not yet digested the news. "I have no idea what I will do with $3 million," he exclaimed. Sen is considered one of the original contributors to string theory, a complex mathematical construct which is meant to resolve one of science's biggest mysteries —that gravity as explained by Einstein does not fit in with quantum theory.

    Scientists in India, especially string theory practitioners in Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata were overjoyed. Sunil Mukhi, chair of theoretical physics at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, said, "It should be noted that he is the only Indian among the nine awardees. That shows his world stature, and India's too," he added.

    Sen studied in Shailendra Sircar Vidyalaya, and then Presidency College, in Kolkata before going to IIT Kanpur in 1976. He got his doctorate from State University of New York, Stonybrook and then worked at Fermilab and Stanford before returning to India.

    Indian scientist Ashoke Sen bags top physics honour - The Economic Times
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