Fundamental Physics Prize honours ATLAS, CMS and LHC

Seven leaders of the LHC, CMS and ATLAS projects will share a $3m prize for advancing knowledge of the universe

Lyn Evans, Peter Jenni, Michel Della Negra, Fabiola Gianotti, Jim Virdee, Guido Tonelli, and Joe Incandela on winning the special Fundamental Physics Prize, and what they may do with the money (Video: CERN)

The Fundamental Physics Prize foundation today announced that a $3,000,000 special Fundamental Physics Prize will go to seven scientists who led the effort to discover a Higgs-like particle at CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

The special prize honours some of the leaders of the LHC, CMS and ATLAS projects from the time the LHC was approved by the CERN Council in 1994. Peter Jenni, Fabiola Gianotti, Michel Della Negra, Tejinder Singh Virdee, Guido Tonelli, Joe Incandela and Lyn Evans will share a prize, awarded "in exceptional circumstances" for their leadership roles in the endeavour that led to the discovery of the new Higgs-like particle by the ATLAS and CMS collaborations at the LHC.

“It’s fantastic news," says Lyn Evans, who led the LHC project during the construction period. "The tremendous performance of ATLAS, CMS and the LHC is witness to the skill and dedication of our many collaborators which we are very proud to represent”.

Jim Virdee of the CMS collaboration says that in conceiving, building and operating the CMS experiment the collaboration has advanced Science. "For me it is an honour and privilege to be associated with this advance," he says. "Bravo to the CMS collaboration for their dedication to make the experiment one of the most beautiful scientific instruments ever."

Russian tech-investor Yuri Milner launched the Fundamental Physics Prize Foundation in July this year to advance our knowledge of the universe. The $27 million foundation will award $3 million every year to researchers in fundamental physics, who are then invited to select recipients of future prizes.

The foundation also announced the winners of this year's Physics Frontiers Prize and the New Horizons in Physics Prize for junior researchers. The winner of the 2013 Fundamental Physics Prize will be announced at a ceremony at CERN on 20 March 2013.

“It is a great honour for the LHC’s achievement to be recognized in this way,” says CERN Director-General Rolf Heuer. “The Fundamental Physics Prize underlines the value of fundamental physics to society, and I am delighted that the Foundation has chosen to hold its first award ceremony at CERN.”

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