Press Release 007/2024

Belén Gavela Is Granted 2023 Julius Wess Award

Physicist from the University of Madrid Receives Award for Pioneer Achievements in Particle Physics
2024_007_Belen Gavela erhaelt Julius Wess Preis 2023_72dpi
Professor Dr. Belén Gavela, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, receives the 2023 Julius Wess Award of the KIT Center Elementary Particle and Astroparticle Physics (Photo: Laura Marcos, UAM)

The KIT Center Elementary Particle and Astroparticle Physics (KCETA) of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) grants the 2023 Julius Wess Award to Dr. Belén Gavela, professor for theoretical physics at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) in Spain. She receives the award in recognition of her significant contributions in the field of theoretical and phenomenological particle physics and her outstanding role in science management. Representatives of the media are cordially invited to come to the Award Ceremony on February 09, 2024, 4.30 p.m. at NTI lecture hall on Campus South of KIT (building 30.10).

Belén Gavela is Spain's first female professor of theoretical physics. In 2003, she was a founding member of the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the UAM. Among other roles, she has held several positions at the European Council for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva and at the French Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS). She was coordinator of various major EU projects in the field of particle physics and a member of CERN committees. 

Gavela has made significant breakthroughs in the field of theoretical and phenomenological physics, with particular emphasis on CP violation and flavor physics in quarks and leptons, the study of neutrino oscillations, and effective field theories related to electroweak symmetry breaking. 

CP violation is about the assumption in the standard model of particle physics that elementary particles and their antiparticles - apart from the electric charge - behave in the same physical way. However, there are various experiments in which deviations from this assumption have been measured. CP violation is possibly the reason why there is much more matter than antimatter in the universe.

The so-called flavor is a quantum number used to describe the state of elementary particles, similar to charge or momentum. It is of relevance to processes of weak and strong interaction. In the case of strong interaction essential for the cohesion of atomic nuclei, the flavor is maintained.

About the Julius Wess Award

The Julius Wess Award is named after Professor Julius Wess, who worked for theoretical and experimental elementary particle physics and published numerous internationally famous papers during the twenty years he spent at the then University of Karlsruhe, today’s KIT. Concepts of quantum field theory, such as the Wess-Zumino anomaly or the formulation of the first supersymmetric quantum field theory, the Wess-Zumino model, will always be associated with this name. The Julius Wess Award of the KIT Center Elementary Particle and Astroparticle Physics (KCETA) is endowed with EUR 10,000. The award is granted to elementary particle or astroparticle physicists for outstanding experimental or theoretical scientific achievements, which extend and deepen our understanding of the fundamental laws of nature.


16:30 hrs Musical Opening
16:40 hrs Welcome
Professor Thomas Hirth, KIT Vice President Transfer and International Affairs
16:50 hrs Introduction to the KIT Center Elementary Particle and Astroparticle Physics (KCETA)
Professor Anke-Susanne Müller, Scientific Spokesperson of KCETA, KI
17:00 hrs Guest Presentation “Taming the asymmetries of nature: The implications of matter-antimatter imbalance in neutrino physics”
Professor Pilar Hernandez, University of Valencia, Spain
17:30 hrs Coffee Break
17:45 hrs Musical Program
17:55 hrs Laudation
Professor Thomas Schwetz-Mangold, Institute for Astroparticle Physics of KIT
18:10 hrs Presentation of the Award
Professor Thomas Hirth, KIT Vice President Transfer and International Affairs
18:25 hrs Presentation “The axion sum rule of quantum chromodynamics”
Professor Dr. Belén Gavela
18:55 hrs Musical Program
19:05 hrs Reception

Further Information:

More information on the KIT Center Elementary Particle and Astroparticle Physics

Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 10,000 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 22,800 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.

jho, 30. 01.2024

Margarete Lehné
Chief Press Officer (acting)
Phone: +49 721 608-41105
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
presse does-not-exist.kit edu

Contact for this press release:

Dr. Joachim Hoffmann
Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-41151
joachim hoffmann does-not-exist.kit edu
The photo in the best quality available to us may be requested by
presse does-not-exist.kit edu or phone: +49 721 608-41105.