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Fundamental Physics Prize: Stephen Hawking, CERN Scientists Win Awards From Yuri Milner Foundation

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Physicist Stephen Hawking in an appearance in Seattle on June 16, 2012. | AP

GENEVA -- A Russian billionaire's foundation is awarding two special prizes of $3 million each to British cosmologist Stephen Hawking for his work on black holes and to seven scientists at the world's biggest atom-smasher for their roles in the discovery of a new subatomic particle believed to be the long-sought Higgs boson.

Yuri Milner's Fundamental Physics Prize Foundation announced the awards in a statement Tuesday.

Hawking is honored for his discovery of Hawking radiation from black holes "and his deep contributions to quantum gravity and quantum aspects of the early universe."

The prize money for the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, is being split among a scientist who oversaw the building of the $10 billion atom smasher and six physicists who oversaw two teams of 3,000 scientists each.

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