Navarro, Frenk & White named Clarivate Citation Laureates for 2020
Carlos S. Frenk, Julio F. Navarro and Simon D.M. White have been named Clarivate Citation Laureates for 2020 for their fundamental studies of galaxy formation and evolution, cosmic structure, and dark matter halos. The theoretical astrophysicists are among 24 new Citation Laureates with significant contributions in one of the four Nobel Prize areas named this year.
Since 2002, Clarivate has named Citation Laureates in the areas recognized by the Nobel Prize: Physiology or Medicine, Physics, Chemistry and Economics. While Citation Laureates, as the designation implies, exhibit exceptionally high levels of citation among their peers and have produced multiple highly cited papers, this is only a prerequisite for selection. The selection committee also assesses if they have contributed to science in ways that have been transformative, even revolutionary.
In 1996 and 1997, Navarro, Frenk & White have published two papers with citations in the thousands: “A Universal Density Profile from Hierarchical Clustering” has been cited more than 7200 times, “The Structure of Cold Dark Matter Halos” has been cited more than 5600 times. In fact, the Navarro–Frenk–White (NFW) profile for the spatial mass distribution of dark matter halos in N-body simulations, named after the three researchers, has become the standard description of the structure of dark matter halos, the basic building blocks of all cosmic structure.
In his research, Simon D.M. White focuses on the structure, formation, evolution and clustering of galaxies; dark matter and dark energy; gravitational dynamics, the simulation of cosmic structure formation; and cosmology as a whole. In 1994, he was appointed Director of the Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik, Garching, and is emeritus since 2019. White has received many awards and honours, among them the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 2006, the Gruber Prize in Cosmology in 2011 together with Carlos Frenk, Marc Davis and George Efstathiou, and the Shaw Prize 2017 in Astronomy.