EU-supported scientists win Nobel Prize in Physics 2021

Klaus Hasselmann and Giorgio Parisi, two scientists who have received significant funding from the EU in the past years, have been awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics. They won the prize jointly with Syukuro Manabe for their groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of complex physical systems. Klaus Hasselmann and Syukuro Manabe laid the foundation of our knowledge of the Earth’s climate and how humanity influences it and Giorgio Parisi is rewarded for his revolutionary contributions to the theory of disordered materials and random processes. Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “I warmly congratulate all three laureates of this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics for their achievement. I am proud that the EU has backed two of them, Klaus Hasselmann and Giorgio Parisi, through research and innovation funding aimed at advancing scientific knowledge. This shows us that investing in top frontier science helps to keep European research at the forefront.” Klaus Hasselmann participated in two projects funded by the EU Seventh Framework Programme for Research, EURUCAS and COMPLEX, worth in total around €7.5 million in EU contribution. The EURUCAS project focused on strengthened EU-Russian Arctic studies. This helped foster important and timely research on Arctic and subarctic themes, including environmental and socioeconomic effects of change to the region. The collaborative COMPLEX project developed new modelling tools for managing step-change dynamics to foster a low-carbon society. Giorgio Parisi has been supported with substantial funding from the European Research Council (ERC) for nearly a decade; he has received two ERC Advanced Grants, in 2009 and 2016 respectively, worth in total some €3.7 million. Using his first ERC grant, he aimed to get a theoretical understanding of the most important large-scale phenomena in classical and quantum disordered systems. The aim of his ongoing ERC Advanced Grant is to develop a theory of the large-scale properties of the free energy landscape of glasses at low temperature. Earlier this year, Professor Parisi also won the prestigious Wolf Prize in Physics.  More information is available here and in this ERC press release.