John Bahcall wins $1 million Dan David Prize
Princeton NJ -- John Bahcall, a longtime faculty member of the Institute for Advanced Study and a visiting lecturer with rank of professor at Princeton, has been selected to receive a Dan David Prize, which carries an award of $1 million.
Bahcall was selected for his wide-ranging contributions to astrophysics, especially his work in particle astrophysics.
"John Bahcall has made fundamental and lasting contributions to an astonishing number of different areas of modern astrophysics, ranging from the interpretation of quasar absorption lines to the first detection of a neutron star companion," the prize foundation said in its announcement. Among these contributions is Bahcall's pioneering work in studying the physics of the sun and its emission of particles called neutrinos.
Bahcall is the Richard Black Professor of Astrophysics in the School of Natural Sciences of the Institute for Advanced Study. In 1971, the same year he joined the institute as a permanent faculty member, he also accepted a continuing appointment as visiting lecturer at Princeton. Over the last three decades, Bahcall has served as an important link between the two institutions and has fostered cooperation and coordination between their faculties.
"He has worked very closely with the University for several decades," said Scott Tremaine, chair of the University's Department of Astrophysical Sciences. "The presence of the astrophysics effort at the institute, led by John, has played a substantial role in helping keep the (physics and astrophysics) departments at the University strong."
Tremaine also noted that Bahcall has been an "extraordinarily effective" mentor of young scientists, particularly at the postdoctoral level. At least half of the nation's faculty in theoretical astrophysics, including those at Princeton, have at some time been members of the institute's astrophysics group under Bahcall, Tremaine said. Bahcall also has supervised graduate and undergraduate students at Princeton.
The Dan David Prize will be awarded at a ceremony at Tel Aviv University on May 18. Nominees for the prize are reviewed by an independent committee of scholars, which this year included Joseph Taylor, Princeton's dean of the faculty and James McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Physics.
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