Vietnamese Talents
Vietnamese-American wins honorable astrophysics, astronomy prizes
  • | Tuoi tre | June 08, 2012 01:22 PM

Along with her colleagues, a Vietnamese-American astronomer has recently won two prestigious astrophysics and astronomy prizes after making seminal discoveries in the two fields.

 Jane X. Luu, a Vietnamese-American astronomer who has recently won two prestigious astrophysics and astronomy prizes - the Kavli Prize and the Shaw Prize
Photo: http://www.kavliprize.n

 Dr Jane X. Luu, a 49-year-old senior scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory, was awarded the Kavli Prize in Astrophysics for 2012, together with her two associates, in Oslo, Norway last week. The associates are David C. Jewitt, an astronomy professor at the University of California, and Michael E. Brown, a professor of planetary astronomy at the California Institute of Technology.

The three were honored for ‘discovering and characterizing the Kuiper Belt and its largest members.’

The Kuiper Belt lies beyond the orbit of Neptune, the eighth planet from the sun, and includes a disk of more than 70,000 small bodies larger than 100 km in diameter made of rock and ice orbiting the sun.

Dr Luu and Prof Jewitt will also be presented with the Shaw Prize in Astronomy on September 17 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center following ‘their discovery and characterization of trans-Neptunian bodies,’ which are related to the formation of the solar system and are the source of short-period comets.

Each of the prizes include US$1 million in cash.

Dr Luu was born in 1963 in Vietnam to a father who worked as a translator for the U.S. Army. She moved to the United States together with her family in 1975 and settled in the state of Kentucky.

The woman received her bachelor's degree at Stanford University in 1984 before earning a PhD at MIT in 1992.

The Vietnamese-American has written many astronomy and astrophysics works, including over 200 publications included in the NASA Astrophysics Data System publication listing.

The Kavli Prize, named for Norwegian business leader and philanthropist Fred Kavli, was established in 2005 through a joint venture between the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, and the U.S.-based Kavli Foundation.

It is meant to recognize scientists for their seminal advances in astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience.

In the meantime, the Shaw Prize, an international award managed and administered by The Shaw Prize Foundation, based in Hong Kong, has honored individuals who are still active in their respective fields and achieve distinguished and significant advances since its inception in 2002.

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