During a special event held at Perimeter in conjunction with International Women’s Day celebrations, Perimeter Institute Director Neil Turok announced five new Emmy Noether Fellows for 2014/15: Alejandra Castro, Belén Paredes, Catherine Pépin, Silke Weinfurtner, and Kathryn Zurek.
Named in commemoration of Amalie (Emmy) Noether, an influential German mathematician described by Albert Einstein as the “the most important woman in the history of mathematics,” the Fellowships are designed to provide an early-career boost to emerging stars in physics.
Fellows are invited to work at Perimeter for periods of three months to one year, during which they can pursue research and collaborate within the Institute’s scientific community.
“These exceptional physicists embody the kind of boundless curiosity and brilliance that made Noether such an important figure in 20th century science,” said Turok. “We created these Fellowships to help brilliant young scientists pursue important new discoveries.”
The new Emmy Noether Fellows hold research positions at institutions around the world and tackle questions in fields spanning particle physics, cosmology, quantum field theory, quantum gravity, condensed matter, and other areas of focus at Perimeter.
Alejandra Castro is an assistant professor at the University of Amsterdam, specializing in new approaches toward classical and quantum gravity. Castro “stumbled into physics” during her undergraduate studies in astronomy, and says theoretical physics is now her “obsession and passion.”
Belén Paredes is a junior professor at Madrid’s Institute for Theoretical Physics (IFT), UAM-CSIC, whose research interests include novel phases of matter, quantum entanglement, and engineering quantum matter for quantum information processing.
Catherine Pépin is a permanent researcher at France’s Institut de Physique Théorique, CEA-Saclay, with a focus on emergent quantum phenomena. In particular, her recent work has examined zero-temperature phase transitions (called quantum critical points) in heavy fermion systems and high-temperature superconductors.
Silke Weinfurtner is a Royal Society Research Fellow and Nottingham Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham, specializing in questions of quantum gravity, strong gravity, and condensed matter physics. Much of her research focuses on the quest to design and carry out table-top experiments to explore quantum gravity.
Kathryn Zurek is an associate professor in the University of Michigan’s physics department, where she works at the interface of particle physics, cosmology, and astrophysics. Her work examines new data emerging from particle collider facilities, as well as the astrophysical search for dark matter and physics beyond the Standard Model.
The five new appointees join last year’s inaugural Emmy Noether Fellows, Claudia de Rham and Sara Pasquetti.
“We are delighted to welcome these new Fellows to Perimeter’s research family and we look forward to seeing them enrich our understanding of the universe,” said Turok.