Meng Su wins 2014 Bruno Rossi Prize (along with Tracy Slatyer, MIT, and Douglas Finkbeiner, CfA)

Megan Watzke, HEAD Press Officer, Tuesday, January 28, 2014


The 2014 Rossi Prize has been awarded to three researchers for their discovery in gamma rays of the large, unanticipated galactic structure now called the “Fermi bubbles.”

The scientists awarded the Rossi Prize were Professor Douglas Finkbeiner of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), Professor Tracy Slatyer of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Meng Su, a joint Einstein/Pappalardo fellow of physics at MIT and Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research.

From end to end, Fermi bubbles extend 50,000 light years, or roughly half of the Milky Way's diameter.  These structures may be the remnant of an eruption from a supersized black hole at the center of our Galaxy.

"The Fermi bubbles are a reminder that new data can hold fascinating and completely unexpected surprises,” said Slatyer.

"This work has stimulated additional observations of the bubbles at other wavelengths, and computer simulations to understand their origins," said Finkbeiner.  

“Our discovery would not be possible without the dedication of many scientists and engineers working on the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope,” said Su.

The AAS High Energy Astrophysics Division (HEAD) awards the Rossi Prize in recognition of significant contributions as well as recent and original work in high-energy astrophysics.  The prize is in honor of Professor Bruno Rossi, an authority on cosmic ray physics and a pioneer in the field of X-ray astronomy. The prize also includes an engraved certificate and a $1,500 award. The recipients will give a joint lecture at the 225th AAS meeting in Seattle, WA in January 2015.

Additional information on the Rossi Prize, including previous winners, can be found here:

See also MIT Physics Spotlight