First Mustafa prizes for fundamental physics

2 November 2021
Cumrun Vafa and Yahya Talayati
Cumrun Vafa and Yahya Talayati, winners of the 2021 Mustafa Prize. Credit: Y. Tayalati and Hayward photography

An ATLAS researcher and a leading string theorist are among the winners of the 2021 Mustafa prize, which recognises researchers from the Islamic world. Yahya Tayalati (Mohammed V University, Rabat) was cited for contributions to searches for magnetic monopoles and his work on light-by-light scattering, which was first observed by ATLAS in 2019. Cumrun Vafa (Harvard) was recognised for developing F-theory. Among other laureates, M. Zahid Hasan (Princeton) was cited for his work on Weyl-fermion semimetals and topological insulators – materials which are insulators inside but conduct on their surfaces. Each wins $500,000.

Since its foundation in 2012, the Mustafa Prize has been announced every two years. This year is the first time that the prize has been awarded to researchers in fundamental science.

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