Crafoord Prize 2016 awarded to Roy Kerr

Crafoord Prize 2016 awarded to Roy Kerr

From left: Prof. Fulvio Melia (University of Arizona in Tucson - USA),
Dr. Hannes Diener (University of Canterbury - NZ), Prof. Roy Kerr (ICRANet Professor),
Prof. Remo Ruffini (ICRANet Director), Mrs. Margaret Kerr.


The New-Zealander professor Roy Kerr, mathematician and physicist, holding the Lifshitz Chair at ICRANet, has just been awarded, with Roger Blandford, the Crafoord Prize 2016 "for his fundamental work on rotating blacks holes and their astrophysical consequences".
The Crafoord Prize rewards and promotes the researches in some scientific fields which are alternative to those traditionally rewarded by Nobel Prizes. This prestigious prize, approximately of one million Euros, is awarded by the King and the Queen of Sweden every year during the month of May. From its establishment on 1982 only six astronomers or astrophysicists stood out for the Crafoord Prize.

Roy Kerr, Yevgeny Mikhajilovic Lifshitz - ICRANet Chair, at the IRAP PhD at Villa Ratti, ICRANet Center in Nice - 2010

Prof. Roy Kerr discovered in 1963 an exact solution to the Albert Einstein’s equations on General Relativity of a rotating object: “This mathematic solution – recalls the ICRANet Director Prof. Remo Ruffini – has allowed fundamental unprecedented advances in the applications in the fields of Physics, Astronomy and Relativistic Astrophysics: the applications extend to the field of the micro-physics of the elementary particles, such as the structure of the electron, to the astrophysics of Black Holes, which arise at the end of a star evolution, up to the most energetic processes in the universe, such as GRBs and the active galactic nuclei, where Black Holes and maxi-Black Holes, up to billions of times greater than our sun, dominate.” It was indeed Remo Ruffini with John Archibald Wheeler who used the Kerr mathematic solution, introducing it in the description of the fundamental physics processes, giving them the name of “Black Hole”, which has been then translated in all languages worldwide (Physics Today, 30, 1971). Since then, the Kerr solution has led to unlimited scientific developments, which are well recognized today by the Crafoord Prize.
These topics have been further investigated by Blandford and Znajek (MNRAS, 179, 433, 1977) following an article by Ruffini and Wilson (Phys. Rev. D 12, 2959,1975).
In 2006 Prof. Roy Kerr got the Marcel Grossmann Award (see the related Wikipedia page and the ICRANet booklet on MG11 Award) on the occasion of the institutional international meeting for relativistic astrophysics that takes place every three years in a different country.
Prof. Roy Kerr has been teaching at ICRANet within the IRAP PhD, the first International joint Doctorate, composed by six European universities (German, Italian, Swedish and French), founded by ICRANet and internationally coordinated by the University of Nice "Sophia Antipolis".

Prize award ceremony is to be held at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on 26 May 2016, in the presence of H.M. the King of Sweden.

Crafoord Days 24-26 may 2016 in Stockholm and Lund
Prize Lecture, Tuesday 24 May, Lund University, Lund.
Prize symposium, Wednesday 25 May, Stockholm registration at
Prize ceremony, Thursday 26 May, Beijer hall, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm.