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Physics Visiting Professor wins prestigious Dannie Heineman Prize 2017

Visiting Professor in the Department of Physics Carl Bender has won the prestigious 2017 Dannie Heineman Prize jointly awarded by the American Institute of Physics and the American Physical Society. This year the prize was awarded for Professor Bender’s work developing the mathematical theory around quantum mechanics - specifically PT symmetry in quantum systems. This new mathematical theory has also impacted experimental physics and has potential to impact future technological developments.

Carl Bender
Carl Bender

Professor Bender originally came to KCL as a Leverhulme Visiting Professor and participates in the Theoretical Particle Physics and Cosmology (TPPC) Group. The group researches a range of topics including dark matter, dark energy, quantum gravity and loop quantum cosmology, among others.

Nick Mavromatos, Co-Head of the TPPC Group in the Department of Physics congratulated Professor Bender on the award:

"We are delighted and honoured that such an eminent mathematical physicist has joined our group and Department […] and collaborated with […] us to produce internationally leading research. His Heineman Prize was very well deserved and we all congratulate him warmly. We look forward to many more years of fruitful collaboration."

Professor of Theoretical Physics Sarben Sarkar highlighted the impact Professor Bender has had on the research culture in the Faculty:

“[He…] has regularly visited us and collaborated with me and other staff members every year. He has introduced me to very powerful new mathematical techniques which have enabled me to crack, with colleagues, some hard problems in quantum field theory. The techniques we have learnt from him continue to enhance our collaborative research. Moreover his enthusiasm and optimism are infectious.”

Professor Carl Bender described his time working in partnership with colleagues at King’s:

“I have enjoyed and benefitted greatly from my collaborations [at King’s...] We have been extremely productive with the publication of several Physical Review Letters and a good number of other papers. It is a low-tension and relaxed work environment that is very conducive to creative research. My collaborators at KCL are brilliant, hardworking, and warm and friendly --- and it is a real pleasure to work with them! [...] It has been a pleasure giving many talks and lectures in the Department of Physics because the audience has always been involved and interested.

Regarding the Heineman Prize, it was a delightful and unexpected honour to be recognized this way, and it has been a most exciting experience!”