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Pierre Sikivie

Pierre Sikivie wins APS Sakurai Prize

Distinguished Professor Pierre Sikivie has been awarded the American Physical Society’s (APS) 2020 J.J. Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Physics.

The Sakurai Prize has been awarded annually since 1984, usually for theoretical contributions made at an early stage in the recipient’s research career. Pierre’s prize citation reads “For seminal work recognizing the potential visibility of the invisible axion, devising novel methods to detect it, and for theoretical investigations of its cosmological implications.”

The axion is an elementary particle whose existence was proposed in 1977 by Roberto Peccei and Helen Quinn (joint winners of the 2013 Sakurai Prize). It is postulated to have a very low mass and be extremely hard to detect using any of the fundamental forces of nature.

Pierre Sikivie’s influential contributions to axion research began shortly after he joined UF as an Assistant Professor in 1981, and continue to this day. His work has brought much attention to axions as candidate constituents of the cold dark matter that is estimated to make up roughly 85% of the matter and 27% of the total energy in the universe. More than 20 experiments worldwide have sought, or are currently seeking, to detect axions using methods proposed by Pierre.

Congratulations Pierre!

Pierre Sikivie with Provost Joe Glover and President Kent Fuchs
Professor Pierre Sikivie receives a University of Florida research award from President Kent Fuchs and Provost Joe Glover.


Pierre Sikivie
Professor Pierre Sikivie pictured with his wife and Sakurai Prize Celebration Colloquium speaker, Michael Turner (University of Chicago).


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