A physics graduate student who abandoned a Ph.D. in science for an MBA and the world of finance--and went on to make an Internet fortune--has decided to make some of the people who stuck with physics rich. Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, an investor in Facebook and other internet companies, has established an annual prize in fundamental physics that awards nearly times as much money as the Nobel, the Guardian reports.
(The Nobel take is split among up to three winners, whereas winners of the Milner prize receive the full amount.) The first nine winners, selected by Milner himself and just announced, will each receive $3 million. These nine winners will constitute next year's selection committee.
In contrast to the Nobel Prizes, which are limited to three winners each, Milner's prize can go to any number of winners and anyone can submit an online nomination.
There's good news for young physicists, too. Milner will award a yearly New Horizons in Physics award to scientists who shows great promise early in their careers. None of the first nine awards were New Horizons awards.
So, thanks to Milner, lucky (and brilliant) physicists no longer have to go to Wall Street to become multimillionaires.