# Atiyah and Singer to share the Abel Prize

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has decided to award the Abel Prize for 2004, jointly to Sir Michael Francis Atiyah, University of Edinburgh and Isadore M. Singer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The winners were announced by the Academy's President Lars Walløe on the 25th of March. Erling Størmer, chair of the Abel Committee, gave the reasons for the awarding of the prize.

Lars Walløe, President of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, and Erling Størmer, Chair of the Abel Prize Committee. Photo: Lise Åserud/Scanpix

Atiyah and Singer will receive the prize “for their discovery and proof of the index theorem, bringing together topology, geometry and analysis, and their outstanding role in building new bridges between mathematics and theoretical physics.”

The Atiyah-Singer index theorem is one of the great landmarks of twentieth century mathematics, influencing profoundly many of the most important later developments in topology, differential geometry and quantum field theory. Its authors, both jointly and individually, have been instrumental in repairing a rift between the worlds of pure mathematics and theoretical particle physics, initiating a cross-fertilization which has been one of the most exciting developments of the last decades.