The research award is granted to elementary particle or astroparticle physicists for outstanding experimental or theoretical scientific achievements, which extend and deepen our understanding of the fundamental laws of nature. At the opening event of KCETA in November 2008, the award was granted for the first time to Nobel Prize laureate Professor Dr. Frank Wilczek, who had acknowledged the significance of Julius Wess for the theory of elementary particles at a large international conference on supersymmetry in Karlsruhe in summer 2007 already.
The Julius Wess Award is dedicated to the memory of Professor Dr. Julius Wess, who worked tirelessly for theoretical and experimental elementary particle physics and published numerous internationally famous papers during the twenty years he spent at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Concepts of quantum field theory, such as the Wess-Zumino anomaly or the formulation of the first supersymmetric quantum field theory, the Wess-Zumino model, will always be associated with his name.
The 2009 laureate is the British physicist Professor Dr. Jonathan Ellis, who is working at CERN in Geneva also on the unification of all forces (interactions) in the universe, including gravitation.
The dedication of the award is linked with a lecture course of the laureates at KIT, open for all students. These lectures find a lively interest and contribute effectively in imparting newest research results to the undergraduate and PhD students of KCETA.