Prize Winner 2018


This year’s Hamburg Prize for Theoretical Physics will be awarded to the Japanese scientist Hirosi Ooguri. Ooguri, born in 1962, is a professor at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena (USA). He is one of the world’s leading experts on so-called topological string theory, which addresses mathematical aspects of superstring theory – an important path towards an all-encompassing theory on the nature of our universe. Ooguri will be presented with the award on November 7, 2018 at the Hamburg Planetarium.

Ooguri´s research deals with mathematical superstring theory. Ooguri has succeeded in enabling many physical phenomena to be computed with the aid of string theory. He was able to overcome many of the major mathematical difficulties of string theory. Moreover, Ooguri’s research on the quantum mechanics of black holes continues the research of physicist Stephen Hawking, who died earlier this year.

Ooguri arrived at Caltech in 2000 as a professor for theoretical physics. He is Fred Kavli Professor and Director of the Walter Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics. Moreover, he is a principal investigator of the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe at the University of Tokyo, and has recently been appointed President of the Aspen Center for Physics in Colorado, USA.

Ooguri has received numerous awards. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, to name but one, and has also received the Leonard Eisenbud Prize for Mathematics and Physics from the American Mathematical Society.


Text and images by courtesy of the Joachim Herz Stiftung.