Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2021 New Horizons in Physics Prize
For major contributions to particle astrophysics, from models of dark matter to the discovery of the “Fermi Bubbles.”
I have always been enthralled by the idea that through creative insight, mathematical analysis, and careful observations, we can understand the structure of the Universe. I feel extraordinarily fortunate to be able to spend my days teasing clues to fundamental physics out of the rich data furnished by my experimentalist colleagues. I am grateful to my many wonderful mentors and collaborators, and to all those who made Narrabundah College, the Australian National University, the University of Melbourne, Harvard, and the IAS such great places for me to grow as a scientist. I especially want to thank Linda Chubb, whose high-school math class taught me to love problem-solving and provided a much-needed refuge from bullying and boredom; Anna Wilson, who first introduced me to gauge symmetries; Nima Arkani-Hamed, who inspires exciting new ideas with every conversation; and Doug Finkbeiner, who was the best PhD advisor imaginable. At MIT, my colleagues and students inspire me every day with their brilliance, curiosity, and kindness; I don’t have room to thank everyone as they deserve, but I cannot imagine any better place to be. Most of all, I thank my parents Robyn and Tony, and my siblings Evan, Rachel and Harry, for their unfailing support and love.