Scientists from Asia among the winners of the 2022 breakthrough awards


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AsianScientist (September 13, 2021) – Three researchers from Asia were awarded the Breakthrough Awards for 2022 and the Breakthrough Prize Foundation’s new horizons. The latest selection of laureates was published on the Internet on September 9, 2021.

Although technological innovations often occupy the front pages, an extensive set of basic research underlies these revolutionary inventions. For example, today’s computers rely on understanding, among other things, mathematics and the mobilization of electrical charges, while the vaccine against COVID-19 biotechnology company Pfizer-BioNTech started by discovering knowledge about a genetic material called mRNA.

Anchored in the belief that knowledge is the greatest wealth of mankind, the annual Breakthrough Award recognizes pioneering scientists and their accomplishments in the life sciences, fundamental physics, and mathematics. Each major award awards $ 3 million, while each New Horizons award is $ 100,000, shared among selected early-career researchers.

For his 10th iteration, five major breakthrough awards and six new horizons awards were given to nine and 13 scientists, respectively. This year’s winners are two from Asia – Dr. Takuro Mochizuki et al. Hidetoshi Katori – among the main recipients, with another growing Asian researcher in dr. Haruki Watanabe as the winner of the New Horizons Award.

Dealing with fundamental issues, these laureates were given a deep explanation for the transformation of several interrelated disciplines. More than a numbers game, mathematics is the foundation for expanding knowledge in a variety of fields, from abstract concepts that record real physical phenomena to computational models that represent biological systems.

Mochizuki, a breakthrough math award winner from Japan’s Kyoto University, works in the realm of abstract spaces, exploring objects called holonomic D-modules. By expanding the conceptual boundaries, he solved module variants with irregular singularities, which do not behave well and produce equations that no longer make sense.

In the arena of fundamental physics, Katori of the University of Tokyo in Japan and one of the winners, Sino-American scientist Jun Ye of the University of Colorado in the United States, worked independently to achieve extremely accurate timekeeping using optical grating clocks.

Since Kator’s proposal in 2003, clocks with error rates of just one second in 30 billion years have now been realized. This could pave the way for space-time wave detection using highly sensitive deep universes and underground probes.

Meanwhile, the theoretical work of fellow physicist at the University of Tokyo Watanabe on quantum physics encompasses new phases of matter like time crystals, which constantly change states in an infinite cycle without burning energy. By breaking down assumptions about the laws that govern the world, such research into quantum phenomena could soon serve as a basis for manipulating and building technological applications from quantum matter.

Other winners come from the US, UK, France and Germany. During the decade of the Breakthrough Award, a total of over $ 276 million has been awarded in honor and support of revolutionary scientific endeavors.


Source: Breakthrough Prize Foundation; Illustration: Ajun Chuah / Asian Scientific Journal.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of the Asian scientist or his staff.

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