Volovik was chosen for the award for his pioneering research on the effects of symmetry in superfluids and superconductors and for extending these concepts to quantum field theory, cosmology, quantum gravity and particle physics.

"Grigory Volovik is an outstanding theorist who has shown how novel ideas and experiments from low-temperature physics might lead to a new understanding about the early universe and particle physics, in a unique synthesis," said Mike Lea, Chair of the selection panel for the prize. Volovik, who recently wrote a book on his work called The Universe in a Helium Droplet, will receive the award at a Simon Memorial Prize conference in London in September. At this conference, he will also present a lecture called "Emergent physics: a condensed matter primer".

In the past 30 years, five recipients of the Simon Memorial prize have gone on to win Nobel prizes, including last year's winner Anthony Leggett, who won the Simon prize in 1981.