Acad. Viktor Ambartsumian International Science Prize Steering Committee
Official Press Release, 21.12.2018, Yerevan, Armenia

Acad. Viktor Ambartsumian
2018 International Science Prize

is awarded to

Edward van den Heuvel, Alexander Tutukov, and Lev Yungelson
scientists’ team

V. Ambartsumian International Science Prize is one of the important awards in Astronomy/Astrophysics and related sciences. It is being awarded to outstanding scientists from any country and nationality having significant contribution in science. The Prize is being awarded since 2010 once every two years. In 2010-2016 the Prize totaled USD 500,000, which was set by the Republic of Armenia (RA) Government. Since 2018 the Prize totals USD 300, 000. The Prize includes laureate honorary diploma, medal with certifying document, USD 200,000 equivalent cash award and USD 100,000 equivalent, which should be used for the further development of Astrophysics as well as related fields of Physics and Mathematics in the RA, for the next two years after the Prize award. The money should be used as follows: USD 50,000 for organizing research support competitions, USD 25,000 for funding Armenian scientists’ missions in foreign countries, USD 15,000 for organizing conferences in RA, USD 7,200 for giving scholoarship for master students studying at the State universities, and USD 2,800 for populirization of the winner (winners) and the award-winning work.

The International Steering Committee (ISC) consists of 9 outstanding scientists: Acad. Radik Martirosyan (President of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences, Armenia, ISC Chair), Prof. Catherine Cesarsky (France), Prof. Anatol Cherepashchuk (Russia), Prof. Norio Kaifu (Japan), Prof. Michel Mayor (Switzerland), Prof. Vahe Petrosian (USA), Prof. Brian Schmidt (Australia), Prof. Joseph Silk (UK) and Prof. Yervant Terzian (USA).

April 18 was the deadline for nominations, and ISC received nominations from national academies of sciences, universities, and observatories for 14 outstanding scientists and groups from different countries. After a thorough study of the nominated works, as well as independent referees’ reports, the Committee had several discussions and finally it was decided to award the Prize to:

Prof. Edward VAN DEN HEUVEL (Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy, University of Amsterdam, the Nitherlands), Prof. Alexander V. TUTUKOV (Institute of Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Federation), Prof. Lev R. YUNGELSON (Institute of Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Federation) scientists’ team.

This scientists’ team was nominated by Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy, University of Amsterdam and at the same time by Institute of Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences “For their pioneering studies of massive binary stars, in particular the formation of relativistic binaries and gravitational-wave sources”.

Previous winners were:

2010 – Michel Mayor (Obs. de Genève, Switzerland), Garik Israelian (Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, Spain) and Nuno Santos (Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto, Portugal) for their important contribution in the study of relation between planetary systems and their host stars.

2012 – Jaan Einasto (Tartu Observatory, Estonia) for his fundamental contributions to the discovery of dark matter and the cosmic web and Igor Novikov (Astro-Space Center, P.N. Lebedev Physics Institute, Russia) for his pioneering formulation how to confirm observationally that our Universe started as a hot one, and for proposing the method for determination of quasar masses.

2014 – Felix Aharonian (Ireland and Germany) for outstanding contributions to the field of high energy astrophysics and to the physics of cosmic accelerators, and leading role in the development of the stereoscopic system of Cherenkov telescopes, and jointly Igor Karachentsev (Russia) and Brent Tully (USA) for their fundamental contribution in the cosmology of the Local Universe.

2016 – The Prize was not awarded.

The official award ceremony will take place in 2019.