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Fellows Directory

Edward Witten

Professor Edward Witten ForMemRS

Foreign Member

Elected: 1999


Edward Witten is a Fields Medal-winning American theoretical physicist who has made significant contributions to both mathematics and physics. His interests lie in unifying theories of particle physics — building on both quantum field theory and string theory — to which he has applied geometrical and topological ideas.

His research highlights include the application of the Chern–Simons theory to our understanding of knots and 3-manifolds. Edward’s proof of the positive energy theorem of general relativity and his development of the Seiberg–Witten equation have also proved to be important advances.

Edward has received numerous awards in recognition of his work, including the prestigious Fields Medal in 1990 — becoming the first physicist to win the prize — and the US National Medal of Science in 2002. He also received the Fundamental Physics Breakthrough Prize, in 2012. He was appointed as a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in 2006 and elected as a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society in 2012.


  • Crafoord Prize

    In the field of mathematics for contributions to mathematics from modern theoretical physics.

  • Fields Medal

    His ability to interpret physical ideas in mathematical form is quite unique.

  • Kyoto Prize

    In the field of mathematical sciences.