Three Cornell faculty have been awarded Simons Fellowships in Theoretical Physics for their research. Eun-Ah Kim, associate professor of physics, Dong Lai, professor of astronomy and Maxim Perelstein, professor of physics were honored with the 2016 award from the foundation, which supports scientific research related to mathematics and physical sciences, life sciences and autism, as well as education and outreach efforts.
Kim specializes in high temperature superconductivity, electronic liquid crystals, complex oxides and topological phases. She received her B.S. and M.S. from Seoul National University and her Ph.D. from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her post-doc work was done at Stanford University and she has been teaching at Cornell University since 2014.
Lai specializes in theoretical astrophysics. His research projects include astrophysics of compact objects, exoplanets and astrophysical fluid dynamics. He received his undergraduate degrees from the University of Science and Technology of China, his Ph.D. from Cornell in 1994, did postdoctoral work at Caltech and then joined Cornell’s astronomy faculty in 1997.
Perelstein’s current research focuses on finding the mechanism responsible for breaking electroweak symmetry. He also does research in the areas of theoretical cosmology, including theoretical models for dark energy, dark matter and inflation. He received his B.S. from the Moscow Institute for Physics and Technology, his M.S. from the University of California at Los Angeles and his Ph.D. from Stanford University.