Meet The Top 5 String Theorists From India Who Won Global Recognition

Here are some of India’s best String theorists that have a global recognition.

1.Ashok Sen

Working as a theoretical physicist in the prestigious Harish-Chandra Research Institute (HRI), Allahabad, Ashok Sen is a prominent String physicist in the country who has done his PhD in Physics from the Stony Brook University, and made notable contributions in the field. He was among the earliest persons to realise the importance of dualities in string theory during the second String Revolution. In 1998, he won the fellowship of the Royal Society on being nominated by the theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking.

Notable researches: One of his most notable research was on S-duality, which is a strong-weak coupling duality, which was influential in changing the course of research in the field. His description of rolling tachyons has been influential in string cosmology.

2.Shiraz Minwalla

Popular among his students for his overly enthusiastic nature to deliver lectures in the field, Shiraz Minwalla is a fellow string theorist in the department of Theoretical Physics at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai. Dr Minwalla has done his PhD from Princeton University under the guidance of string theorist Nathan Seiberg. He was a Harvard Junior Fellow and subsequently an Assistant Professor at Harvard University. He had received the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology, the highest science award in India, in the physical sciences category in 2011.  In 2016, The World Academy of Sciences awarded him the TWAS Prize in Physics.

Notable researches: He is particularly known for his work on the connection between the equations of fluid dynamics and Albert Einstein’s equations of general relativity. He is also known for his work in OM-theory.

3.Spenta R Wadia

Spenta R Wadia is the Infosys Homi Bhabha Chair Professor, Founding Director and Professor Emeritus at the International Centre for Theoretical Sciences (ICTS). He obtained his Ph.D from City College of City University of New York in 1978. He then worked at University of Chicago from 1978-82 first as a research fellow and then as a staff scientist. He has also written books on Physics. One of them on String Theory is called Strings 2001. This multi-authored book summarises the latest results across all areas of string theory from the perspective of world-renowned experts, including Michael Green, David Gross, Stephen Hawking, John Schwarz, Edward Witten and others.

Notable researches: He is well known for his contributions to string theory, especially for the black hole solution in two dimensional string theory and various other work relating to the black holes in the context of string theory. He has published around 80 papers in reputable scientific journals.

4.Rajesh Gopakumar

Rajesh Gopakumar is a String theorist and the director at the ICTS. He was previously a professor at Harish-Chandra Research Institute (HRI). He obtained his PhD from Princeton University under the guidance of the 2004 Nobel Prize winner, Dr. David Gross. He was a research associate at Harvard University, before returning to India.

Notable researches: He is well-known for his work on topological string theory and for proposing the Gopakumar–Vafa duality and Gopakumar–Vafa invariants. In recent years, he has made important contributions to higher spin theories and their connections with string theory. He has also recently worked on the Conformal bootstrap.

5.Jnanadeva Maharana

Jnanadeva Maharana is a former researcher at the Institute of Physics, Bhubaneswar. He is a Raja Ramanna Fellow, Department of Atomic Energy and has his PhD from IIT Kanpur. He has been working in String Theory for more than 20 years. He has many visiting positions internationally, including University of Tokyo and CERN. He was awarded the prestigious awards of Satyendra Nath Bose Medal in 2015, which even Ashok Sen had received earlier.

Notable research: His main focus has been investigating symmetries of String theories. He has also worked on string cosmology from various perspectives.

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