Nima Arkani-Hamed (Persian: نیما ارکانی حامد; born April 5, 1972) is an Iranian-American-Canadian[3][4] theoretical physicist of Iranian descent, with interests in high-energy physics, quantum field theory, string theory, cosmology and collider physics. Arkani-Hamed is a member of the permanent faculty at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.[5] He is also director of the Carl P. Feinberg Cross-Disciplinary Program in Innovation at the Institute and director of The Center for Future High Energy Physics (CFHEP) in Beijing, China.[6]

Nima Arkani-Hamed
نیما ارکانی حامد
Born (1972-04-05) April 5, 1972 (age 52)
Houston, Texas, U.S.[2]
  • American
  • Canadian
Alma mater
Known for
Scientific career
Thesis Supersymmetry and hierarchies [1]  (1997)
Doctoral advisorLawrence John Hall
Doctoral students Edit this at Wikidata

Early life


Arkani-Hamed's parents, Jafargholi "Jafar" Arkani-Hamed and Hamideh Alasti are both physicists from Iran.[7] His father, a native of Tabriz,[8] had worked for the Apollo program in the early 1970s,[9] was chairman of the physics department at Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, and later taught earth and planetary sciences at McGill University in Montreal.[10] Arkani-Hamed was born in Houston and spent the early years of his life between Iran and the United States.[11] He would accompany his father on hikes in Tehran almost every weekend.[11]

Following the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Arkani-Hamed's family decided to return to Iran, as the new Iranian government promised free expression and possibilities.[11] The Cultural Revolution, however, which followed shortly after the 1979 Revolution, resulted in Iran's universities being forcefully shut down.[11] Arkani-Hamed's father, Jafar, who at the time worked at Sharif University in Tehran, wrote a petition with his colleagues denouncing the closures.[11] Arkani-Hamed's father and his colleagues were subsequently blacklisted by the new government; those who were caught were either imprisoned or hanged according to Arkani-Hamed's father.[11] His father, who subsequently had to go underground, spent his entire life savings to get himself and his family out of the country.[11] Arkani-Hamed, who was 10-years old at the time, fled with his family to Canada.[11]

Academic career


Arkani-Hamed graduated from the University of Toronto with a joint honours degree in mathematics and physics in 1993, and went to the University of California, Berkeley, for his graduate studies, where he worked under the supervision of Lawrence Hall. The majority of his graduate work was on studies of supersymmetry and flavor physics. His Ph.D. dissertation was titled "Supersymmetry and Hierarchies". He completed his Ph.D. in 1997 and completed his post-doctoral studies in the SLAC Theory Group at Stanford University. During this time he worked with Savas Dimopoulos and Gia Dvali to develop the paradigm of large extra dimensions.[9]

In 1999 he joined the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley physics department. He took a leave of absence from Berkeley to visit Harvard University beginning January 2001, and stayed at Harvard as a professor from 2002 to 2008.[12] Since 2008, he has been a professor in the School of Natural Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.[13]

Since 2013, Arkani-Hamed has been a leader in research on the amplituhedron as a geometric structure that simplifies calculations of particle interactions in certain quantum field theories.

In 2021 he became the first Carl P. Feinberg Director of the Cross-Disciplinary Program in Innovation at the Institute for Advanced Study.[14]

Honors and awards


In 2003 he won the Gribov Medal of the European Physical Society, and in the summer of 2005 while at Harvard he won the Phi Beta Kappa award for teaching excellence. In 2008, he won the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize given at Tel Aviv University to young scientists who have made outstanding and fundamental contributions in Physical Science.[15] He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009.[16] He gave the Messenger lectures at Cornell University in 2010, and was an A. D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University from 2013 to 2019.[17] In 2012 he was an inaugural awardee of the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, the creation of physicist and internet entrepreneur, Yuri Milner.[18] He was one of six physicists featured in the award-winning 2013 documentary film Particle Fever, and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2017. In 2021, he was awarded the Sakurai Prize of the American Physical Society.

See also



  1. ^ "Supersymmetry and hierarchies". UC Berkeley. Retrieved September 18, 2023.
  2. ^ Wolchover, Natalie (2015). "Visions of Future Physics". Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  3. ^ "Curriculum Vita, updated 4-17-15",; accessed December 4, 2015.
  4. ^ "Nima Arkani-Hamed". U.S. Virtual Embassy Iran. January 1, 2015. Retrieved July 17, 2020.
  5. ^ "Nima Arkani-Hamed". Institute for Advanced Study. Retrieved August 7, 2019.
  6. ^ "CFHEP". Retrieved February 9, 2016.
  7. ^ Jafargholi "Jafar" Arkani-Hamed. Lateral Variations of Density in the Earth's Mantle. Archived September 26, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Cornellcast: [1].
  9. ^ a b Wolchover, Natalie (October 4, 2015). "Visions of Future Physics". Wired. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  10. ^ "Professor Nima Arkani-Hamed Wins Prestigious Physics Prize". Public Broadcasting Service. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h Wolchover, Natalie (October 4, 2015). "Visions of Future Physics". Wired. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  12. ^ "Physics Tree - Nima Arkani-Hamed". Retrieved March 7, 2021.
  13. ^ Theoretical Physicist Nima Arkani-Hamed Appointed to the Faculty of the Institute for Advanced Study,; accessed May 12, 2015.
  14. ^ Carl P. Feinberg Cross-Disciplinary Program in Innovation Established at IAS,; accessed May 7, 2021.
  15. ^ Past Laureates of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler International Prize in Physics
  16. ^ "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter A" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved April 25, 2011.
  17. ^ "Andrew D. White Professors-at-Large". Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  18. ^ New annual US$3 million Fundamental Physics Prize recognizes transformative advances in the field Archived 2012-08-03 at the Wayback Machine.


  1. "The Future of Fundamental Physics" five lectures given at Cornell October 4–8, 2010 in the Messenger Lecture series.
  2. "Introduction to Scattering Amplitudes" five lectures given at Cornell October 4–8, 2010, focus on n=4 supersymmetric Yang–Mills Theory.
  3. "The End of Spacetime, a lecture given at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory on June 19, 2018.