We are pleased to announce that Dr. John Dougherty, a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy at the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, has been chosen as the winner of the 2020 James T. Cushing Memorial Prize in the History and Philosophy of Physics for his paper, “Large Gauge Transformations and the Strong CP Problem,” which is forthcoming in Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics.Dougherty was nominated by Professor Stephan Hartmann, the Director of the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy. In his nomination, Professor Hartmann writes: “Dougherty’s paper clearly articulates the interplay of physical and conceptual issues in the interpretation of the Standard Model and effectively uses the former to intervene on the latter. He shows that any adequate interpretation must answer relatively directly to experiment in a way that has not previously been appreciated. More generally, he carefully illustrates one role symmetries can play in drawing together the theory and practice of particle physics. Overall, the paper is a formidable argument against a popular view in the philosophy of physics, and future work on the foundations of high-energy physics will have to reckon with the problem Dougherty poses.”
The Cushing Prize includes a cash award of $2,000 and an invitation to deliver the 2020 Cushing Memorial Prize Lecture at Notre Dame.
The invitation to deliver the Cushing Prize Lecture at Notre Dame will be extended, and the award of the prize will be made, once current restrictions due to Covid-19 have been lifted.