Juan Martín Maldacena

Physicist Juan Martín Maldacena, Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study, has been awarded the Lorentz Medal for his groundbreaking and innovative work in theoretical physics over the past two decades. 

Maldacena has made a major contribution to our understanding of the quantum physics of black holes. In 1997, he was the first to propose a fundamental relationship between quantum field theory and quantum gravity, two of the foundations of modern physics. This 'AdS/CFT correspondence', as it is known (also referred to as the 'gauge/gravity duality' and the 'Maldacena duality') unleashed a true revolution in string theory. Since then, scientists have developed numerous theoretical implementations of this correspondence, the physical implications of which are still being studied. One example is the prediction of the 'minimal viscosity' of the strongly coupled quark-gluon plasma, which has subsequently been observed by measurements in Brookhaven and CERN. 

Maldacena’s work also extends into other branches of theoretical physics. For example, in 2003 he proved that cosmic background radiation must contain a very specific signature that supports the inflationary models of the creation of the universe. Juan Martín Maldacena’s work can truly be called influential; his articles have shaped and influenced a major school of theoretical physics, and in terms of quantitative indicators his productivity is astonishing: over the past 25 years he has published 125 articles, and has some 50,000 citations. His publication on the AdS/CFT correspondence is the most frequently cited article in the field of high energy physics (source). More about Maldacena’s work: http://www.sns.ias.edu/malda 

About Juan Martín Maldacena

Juan Martín Maldacena, born in Argentina in 1968, began his academic career at the University of Buenos Aires and the Instituto Balsiero at the Universidad de Cuyo in Bariloche. He obtained his PhD from Princeton University, after which his career took him to Rutgers and Harvard. Since 2001 he has been a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton.