Lyman Page
  • 2018 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics


James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Physics at Princeton University.
He received the 2018 Breakthrough Prize in fundamental physics for “detailed maps of the early universe that greatly improved our knowledge of the evolution of the cosmos and the fluctuations that seeded the formation of galaxies.”

Education and Work Experience

1989, Ph.D. in Physics, MIT
1991-Present, Assistant Professor of Physics, then Associate Professor and full Professor, Princeton University
2011-2017, Department Chair of Physics, Princeton University
2015-Present, James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Physics, Princeton University

Honors and Awards

2010, Shaw Prize in Astronomy
2012, Gruber Cosmology Prize
2018, Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics

Major Academic Achievements

Lyman Page, along with students and collaborators, measures the spatial temperature variations in the cosmic microwave background (CMB). Detailed knowledge of the magnitude and pattern of the fluctuations in temperature from spot to spot on the sky, or anisotropy, will help us understand how the universe evolved and how the observed structure, at sizes ranging from galaxies to superclusters of galaxies, was formed. From precise measurements of the CMB, one can also deduce many of the cosmological parameters and the physics of the very early universe. We have been able to determine the geometry and age of the universe, the cosmic density of baryons, the cosmic density of dark matter, and the Hubble parameter to percent-level accuracy. This is an
exciting time for cosmology. The experimental tools and techniques, coupled with theory, have developed to the point where we can probe the physics of the infant universe in wonderful detail and we can use the cosmos to measure, for example, the sum of the neutrino masses.