2019 IUPAP Young Scientist Prize awarded to Kent Yagi
Kent Yagi was awarded the 2019 Young Scientist Prize in General Relativity and Gravitation "for his insightful and broad contributions to the physics of gravitational waves, neutron stars, and experimental gravitation"
Kent Yagi received his PhD from Kyoto University in 2012. As a graduate student, he worked on testing General Relativity with gravitational waves, in particular using space-borne detectors. After receiving his PhD, he became a postdoctoral researcher at Montana State University (2012-2015). While continuing to work on the experimental gravity frontier, he started studying neutron star physics. He and Nicolas Yunes (the 2015 Young Scientist Prize winner) discovered the universal I-Love-Q relations for neutron stars and a few other similar relations, which have recently been applied by the LIGO-Virgo Collaboration for probing nuclear physics from the binary neutron star merger event. Yagi then became a postdoctoral researcher at Princeton University (2015-2017). Yagi, Yunes and Frans Pretorius used the first gravitational wave event to reveal how well one can probe fundamental aspects of General Relativity, including the equivalence principle and Lorentz invariance.
Read his co-authored 2018 Editor's Choice article
"Extreme gravity tests with gravitational waves from compact binary coalescences" in Gen Relativ Gravit (2018) 50: 46. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10714-018-2362-8
In August 2017, Yagi joined the Physics Department at the University of Virginia as an assistant professor. He is currently leading a group of ~10 members. His latest work with students include measuring nuclear parameters with gravitational waves and probing strong gravity with black hole / pulsar binaries. He has close collaborations with researchers not only within the Physics Department (such as a string theorist, high energy physicists and a nuclear theorist), but also in the Astronomy Department and National Radio Astronomy Observatory. He occasionally hosts joint colloquiums among these Departments and the Observatory to enhance the interaction among them.
Yagi has received several distinctions including the MSU Outstanding Staff Award and the JSPS Fellowships. He will serve as a Sloan Fellow from September 2019.