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Sheikh Mohammad with Ahmed Almheiri at a recent event. Image Credit: Courtesy: Twitter

Dubai: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has congratulated Ahmed Almheiri for winning the 2021 New Horizons in Physics Prize.

The New Horizons in Physics Prize of is awarded to researchers who have already produced important work in science. Each year, up to three New Horizons in Physics Prizes are awarded and given a grant of $100,000 (Dh367,000) from the Milner Foundation.

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Sheikh Mohammed expressed his pride in a tweet on Friday for Almheiri, who he called as a son of the UAE and an Emirati physicist everyone is proud of in the Arab world.

Almheiri was cited for his studies on calculating the quantum information content of a black hole and its radiation.

He is currently doing his post-doctoral studies in physics at the Institute for Advanced Studies (IAS) at Princeton University. The Institute was established in 1930 with esteemed physicist Albert Einstein as one of its first professors.


Almheiri, who is also a long-term member in the School of Natural Sciences, co-authored in 2012 a paper that confounded theoretical physicists, sparked attention from the New York Times to Scientific American, and prompted the organisation of workshops and the publication of dozens of papers around the world.

The paper was titled ‘Black Holes: Complementarity or Firewalls?’ It gave an explanation of Stephen Hawking’s black hole information paradox of 1974, which showed that black holes will radiate particles, known as Hawking radiation, as they shrink in size, and eventually evaporate completely.

Proud Emirati

Almheiri was born and raised in Abu Dhabi. He is the second youngest of a large brood of three brothers and nine sisters. His mother never received any formal education while his father, who had earned a degree, became one of the founders of the UAE Red Crescent and became its first Chairman of Board of Directors. His father is now retired and tends to the family farm.

In the biography published by IAS, Almheiri is recognised as the first Emirati to become a theoretical physicist and member of the prestigious institute.