Metroland News Service Greg Dick (left), director of educational outreach for the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, presents Gov. Gen. David Johnston with a joke helmet during a lighthearted moment in Waterloo on Monday, October 23, 2013.

WATERLOO — The Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics has established new research chairs for two of the world’s top young minds with the help of a $4-million private donation.

Italian-born theorist Davide Gaiotto will hold The Krembil Foundation Galileo Galilei Chair, while Irish mathematician Kevin Costello will hold The Krembil Foundation William Rowan Hamilton Chair.

The creation of those research posts came through a partnership with the Krembil Foundation, which was matched by $4 million from Perimeter Institute.

The money will finance five-year stints for Costello and Gaiotto, and includes funding for students and post-doctoral researchers and associated costs.

“We see this as a smart investment in something that will be profoundly advantageous to all Canadians and the world — not just an economic investment, but an intellectual, educational, and cultural one as well,” said Mark Krembil, president of the Krembil Foundation.

Costello, who explores the intersections of math and physics, and Gaiotto, who is advancing conceptual understanding of quantum fields, are considered leading minds in their areas of expertise.

“To have Kevin Costello and Davide Gaiotto appointed as the inaugural Hamilton and Galileo Chairs is a real coup,” said Perimeter Institute director Neil Turok. “We can look forward to a very exciting decade in mathematical physics at Perimeter.”

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