The 2014 Kavli Prize laureates were announced on May 29. Among the winners are the three scientists who advanced the theory of cosmic inflation. Alan H. Guth of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Andrei D. Linde of Stanford University, and Alexei A. Starobinsky of the Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics, part of the Russian Academy of Sciences, will share the prize in Astrophysics. Their theory of cosmic inflation proposes that the nascent universe underwent a brief interval of extremely rapid expansion following.
In addition to the prize in Astrophysics, Kavli Prizes were also awarded in the fields of Nanoscience and Neuroscience. The Nanoscience prize went to scientists who independently demonstrated that viewing nano-scale objects is not limited by the finite wavelength of visible light, approximately 200 nanometers. However, the Nanoscience prizewinners showed that light actually can interact with objects tinier than its wavelength.
The prize in Neuroscience will be shared by three scientists who have discovered the specialized regions of the human brain that play a crucial role in memory and other higher cognitive functions. They have also shed light on how specialized nerve cells carry out different tasks in the brain.
The Kavli Prizes were announced by Nils Chr. Stenseth, President of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters; the news was transmitted live to New York, where it formed a portion of the opening of the World Science Festival. Each of the three fields represented in the prizes is awarded a cash amount of $1 million. The actual award ceremony will take place in Oslo on September 9. The nine laureates will each receive a medal from King Herald of Norway.
The Kavli Prize is a collaboration among the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, and the Kavli Foundation, based in the United States. The prizes were started by the eponymous founder of the Kavli Foundation, Fred Kavli. The winners are selected every two years by a committee in each of the three fields, consisting of scientists recommended by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the French Academy of Sciences, the Max Planck Society, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and the Royal Society.