Thibault Damour, Permanent Professor since 1989 - IHES
photo Thibault Damour

Thibault Damour, Physicist

Permanent professor 1989-2022
Emeritus professor since 2022

Thibault Damour is a theoretical physicist who works on Einstein's general relativity theory, cosmology and the new gravitation concepts suggested by the unification of general relativity and quantum theory defined by string theory.

The work of Thibault Damour work focuses mainly on the physics of black holes, the movement of two black holes or two neutron stars, binary pulsars, gravitational waves, strings and black holes, and string theory cosmology.

His current research areas are on the development of an “Effective One Body Method” to calculate orbital movement and gravitational radiation of coalescing black hole binary systems. This analytical approach is important in helping interferometric gravitational wave detectors LIGO/Virgo analyze and process data.

Thibault Damour is also currently studying hidden symmetries in the chaotic dynamics near a big crunch, which seem to involve hyperbolic Kac-Moody algebras, in particular the “exceptional” E10 algebra.

Personal web page

Fondation Singer-Polignac laureate (1978),
CNRS Bronze Medal (1980),
Paul Langevin Theoretical Physics Prize (1984),
First Award de la Gravity Research Foundation (1994),
Mergier-Bourdeix Prize (1990),
Einstein Medal (1996),
Cecil F. Powell Medal (2005),
Amaldi Medal (2010),
Lodewijk Woltjer Lecture, European Astronomical Society (2016),
Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics (2016),
Gruber Cosmology Prize (2016),
CNRS Gold Medal (2017),
International Prize “Tullio Levi-Civita” for the Mathematical and Mechanical Sciences (2017),
Galileo Galilei Medal (2021),
Dirac Medal, ICTP (2021),
Balzan Prize, International Balzan Prize Foundation (2021).
Académie des Sciences de Paris member (Physics section),
Institut de France member and American Academy of Arts and Sciences foreign honorary member.


All professors