• World
  • May 14

Nobel laureate and physicist Wilczek wins Templeton Prize 2022

Frank Wilczek, the Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist and author renowned for his boundary-pushing investigations into the fundamental laws of nature, was honoured with this year’s Templeton Prize.

What is the Templeton Prize?

• Established by investor Sir John Templeton in 1972, the Templeton Prize honours exemplary individuals — including scientists, philosophers, religious leaders, and public intellectuals — who employ the sciences to explore the deepest questions of the universe and humankind’s place and purpose within it.

• The prize is one of the world’s most lucrative individual awards, currently valued at $1.3 million.

• Since the first prize was awarded to Mother Teresa in 1973, the Templeton Prize has gone to figures in the sciences, philosophy, theology and across religious traditions.

• Laureates have included physicists such as Martin Rees, Freeman Dyson, and Paul Davies, religious leaders such as Chiara Lubich, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, and the Dalai Lama, and philosophers or theologians such as S. Radhakrishnan, Charles Taylor, and Alvin Plantinga.

Who is Frank Wilczek?

• Wilczek’s boundary-pushing investigations into the fundamental laws of nature have transformed our understanding of the forces that govern our universe. 

• Wilczek’s achievements in physics, which include establishing the theoretical description of one of the four fundamental forces in nature and proposing a leading explanation for dark matter, put him in the first rank of scientists.

• Born in 1951 in New York, Wilczek earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Chicago and an MA in math and a PhD in physics from Princeton.

• Wilczek currently is a physics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Arizona State University and Stockholm University. 

• Over a long career, Wilczek has recorded many distinguished achievements. That includes the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics, along with David J. Gross, and H. David Politzer, for their 1973 breakthrough explaining the unusual properties of the strong force, which binds fundamental particles known as quarks into protons and neutrons. 

• Wilczek has continued to pioneer new concepts in physics, naming and developing the theories of anyons, time crystals, and axions, each of which now defines major fields of inquiry.

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