A billionaire Internet mogul has awarded a record US$27 million to nine physicists for their work on fundamental theory. Yuri Milner, who has made his fortune investing in social-media companies, announced the new Fundamental Physics Prize this morning. The winners work on difficult problems ranging from the Universe's early inflation to string theory. At $3 million a head, the new prize dwarfs the Nobel Prize, which this year is valued at around SEK8 million ($1.2 million). It also exceeds other well-known awards such as the Kavli Prize and the Shaw Prize, which are valued at $1 million each.