Asimina Arvanitaki (PhD Stanford University, 2008) is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Aristarchus Chair in Theoretical Physics at Perimeter Institute, where she has been a faculty member since 2014. She previously held research positions at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley (2008-11), and the Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics at Stanford University (2011-14).
Asimina is a particle physicist who specializes in designing new experiments to test fundamental theories beyond the Standard Model. These experiments rely on the latest developments in metrology, such as atomic clocks, and the optical trapping and cooling of macroscopic objects. She recently pioneered a new experiment that can look for new spin-dependent forces in nature at an unprecedented level of precision. Arvanitaki also works on theoretical challenges raised by experimental results, such as a model of particle physics influenced by string theory called "split SUSY." In 2016, she received an Early Researcher Award from the Ministry of Research and Innovation of Ontario.
Asimina is one of the world's most brilliant and adventurous minds in theoretical particle physics. She is proposing creative new ways to explore and understand the building blocks of the universe, and doing so at a vital moment in the history of her field.
Savas Dimopoulos, one of the world's leading particle physicists, described Arvanitaki in The Globe and Mail as, "one of the most brilliant young people I've ever met."
In recognition of her brilliance and potential, Arvanitaki was recently named the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Aristarchus Chair in Theoretical Physics at Perimeter Institute. This $8 million partnership between the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and Perimeter Institute will give Arvanitaki the resources and opportunities she needs to push her research in exciting new directions, as well as serve as an inspiration to youth in her native Greece.
She is a frequent and enthusiastic contributor to scientific outreach activities at Perimeter Institute, such as webcasts, forums, and other public events.
As part of her new position as the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Aristarchus Chair, she is committed to inspiring youth in her native Greece to build a brighter future for themselves and their country through scientific education. She is an inspiring speaker with an infectious personality that energizes those around her, whether scientific collaborators from around the world, students and postdoctoral researchers, or the general public.
She hopes her scientific leadership and influence will promote Greek contributions to science and education. She is excited to help establish connections that will enable sharing of expertise and knowledge between institutions in Greece, Canada, and worldwide. She is working to enhance academic ties between Perimeter Institute and Greece, establishing a pipeline for talent and scientific training. She hopes that, with the help of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, to assist with the recruitment of top Greek students to Perimeterâ€™s renowned training programs. And every summer she goes to CERN as a spokesperson and presenter for the Greek high school teachers training program, with support from Perimeter's Educational Outreach team.
She described her relationship to Greece beautifully during her comments when she was publicly announced as the Aristarchus Chair: "All I can say, as someone who comes from a small village in Greece, this is something I never dreamed of". The only thing I can honestly say is thank you. Thank you for the privilege of making me part of the team that tries to help Greece in such a time of need." .