Awardee: Prof. Igor Novikov

Professor at Niels Bohr Institute Copenhagen Denmark

Motivation:

Professor Igor Novikov is one of the founders of modern Cosmology and High Energy Astrophysics.
During more than 40 years of activity, he gave several fundamental contributions to the progress of all main areas of astrophysics, cosmology and general relativity.
Let us recall his main contributions to the field:
He made the most specific prediction of cosmic microwave background.
Just after the discovery of quasars, he proposed the key idea that these are supermassive objects, powered by accretion, whose luminosity is perhaps stabilized by a balance between gravity and radiation pressure. In this context, the theoretical interpretation led to the estimate of the central mass of quasar 3C 273;
Novikov was also the first person to speculate that primordial black holes exist as survivors from the very early Universe
He also contributed with key ideas to the theory of star evolution and, on the cosmology side, galaxy formation, the hot big bang and the implications of microwave background observations.
Awardee : Dr. Piero Zucchelli
Head of research at SpinX Technologies SA

Motivation:

Piero Zucchelli, who has been CERN Research staff until 2002, and is presently Head of research at SpinX Technologies SA, has proposed a revolutionary idea to produce electron neutrino beams which are essential for the study of the properties of these particles.
One of the main challenges in particles physics today is the study of neutrino oscillations. This study requires the availability of both muonic and electronic neutrinos beams. Whereas muonic neutrino beams can easily be obtained from π meson decays,
the only practical way of obtaining energetic neutrino electron beams (Beta Beams) is the method put forward by Piero Zucchelli in 2001.
The principle of Beta beams is the following:
Instable radioactive ions of appropriate lifetime are stored and accelerated in a collider. At CERN, for example, using the proton collider, it is possible to reach an energy of 150 GeV/nucleon. The decay of these ions will produce pure and low opening angle beams of electron neutrinos, for example from the decay of Ne18, or electron antineutrinos, from the decay of He6. This principle appears feasible and its application is being considered in the planning of future neutrino physics projects.