UCSB Physics Professor Receives International Award

Anthony Zee, professor of physics with the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at UC Santa Barbara, has received the Humboldt Research Award in recognition of his lifetime achievements in research.

The award was presented by the Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation in Germany. In addition to acknowledging his scholarly achievements to date, the foundation has invited Zee to carry out a research project of his choice, in cooperation with colleagues in Germany. In this way, the foundation promotes international scientific collaboration.

In congratulating Zee, UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang said: “This is a wonderful and prestigious recognition of your notable research in theoretical physics and contributions to public education. We all share great pride in your contributions to advancing the discipline.”

The Humboldt Research Award honors scholars whose fundamental discoveries, new theories, or insights have had a significant impact on their discipline, and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements in the future.

Zee specializes in high-energy physics, field theory, cosmology, biophysics, condensed matter physics, and mathematical physics. He has written several books for the general public and a textbook on quantum field theory.

“We are very proud of Professor Tony Zee for winning a prestigious Humboldt Research Award in recognition of his lifetime achievements of research in high energy physics, quantum field theory, and cosmology,” said Pierre Wiltzius, the Susan & Bruce Worster Dean of Science, Division of Mathematical, Life, and Physical Sciences.

Zee joined the Institute for Theoretical Physics and UCSB’s Department of Physics in 1985. Born in China, he attended high school in Brazil and came to the United States as an undergraduate at Princeton University. After receiving his doctorate from Harvard University in 1970, he worked at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, Rockefeller University, Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Washington before coming to UCSB. Among various distinctions, he was an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow and a Dyson Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study.

Zee was nominated for this award by German scientist Viatcheslav Mukhanov of the University of Munich. The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation grants up to 100 Humboldt Research Awards annually to scientists and scholars. Winners receive 60,000 Euros (approximately $93,000).

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