The winners of the Breakthrough Prizes, dubbed the “Oscars of Science,” created in 2010 by a group of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs – Yuri Milner, his wife Julia Milner, Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, Sergey Brin, Anne Wojcicki and others – were announced in a televized ceremonyon Thursday. The trophy was created by artist Olafur Eliasson. It is molded into the shape of a toroid and the sculpture explores the common ground between art and science. This year the prizes were awarded in the life sciences category, one for mathematics and one for physics. The Breakthrough Prize in mathematics was awarded to Daniel Spielman of Yale University for multiple discoveries in theoretical computer science and mathematics.
The prize in fundamental physics was shared by Charles Bennett, Gilles Brassard, David Deutsch and Peter Shor for their work in quantum information. Clifford Brangwynne and Anthony Hyman won a life sciences prize for discovering a new mechanism of cellular organization. Others winners were Demis Hassabis and John Jumper for developing AlphaFold, which predicts the structure of proteins, and Emmanuel Mignot and Masashi Yanagisawa for discovering the causes of narcolepsy. Each prize is $3 million.