Nima Arkani-Hamed
  • 2012 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics


American-Canadian theoretical physicist of Iranian descent. Member of the permanent faculty at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He received the 2012 Breakthrough Prize in fundamental physics for “original approaches to outstanding problems in particle physics”.

Education and Work Experience

1997, Ph.D. in Physics, UC Berkeley
2001-2007, Visiting Professor, Professor, Harvard University
2008-Present, Professor, School of Natural Sciences, Particle Physics, Institute for Advanced Study
2013, Director of The Center for Future High Energy Physics, China

Honors and Awards

2003, Gribov Medal
2012, Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics

Major Academic Achievements

The modern theory of particles and their interactions has been highly successful. But there are some disquieting gaps. One is the “hierarchy problem”: Why are the nuclear forces at the heart of the atom vastly stronger than the force of gravity? To physicists, the divergence seems unnatural. Nima Arkani-Hamed has proposed a number of possible approaches to this paradox, from the theory of large extra dimensions, where the strength of gravity is diluted by leaking into higher dimensions, to “split supersymmetry”, motivated by the possibility of an enormous diversity of long-distance solutions to string theory. These include the proposal of large extra dimensions, new theories for the Higgs boson, novel realizations of supersymmetry, theories for dark matter, and the exploration of new mathematical structures in gauge theory scattering amplitudes.