On November 3, the emperor of Japan conferred the nation’s medal of honor to physicist Hirosi Ooguri. The medal includes a purple ribbon, recognizing Ooguri’s contributions to the arts and sciences.
Ooguri is the director of the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe at the University of Tokyo and the Fred Kavli Professor of Theoretical Physics and Mathematics at Caltech. In 2012, Ooguri was named a Simons Investigator in Physics, but his grant was necessarily terminated when he assumed directorship of the Kavli Institute.
Ooguri is well known for his research on quantum field theory, quantum gravity and superstring theory. He is perhaps best known for his innovations in the use of topological string theory to compute Feynman diagrams in superstring models. That work provided unprecedented insights into the quantum mechanical properties of black holes.
An award ceremony will be held on December 17, after which Ooguri and this year’s additional medal recipients will have an audience with Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace.