The prize to Abhay Ashtekar is the highest honour bestowed by APS in the broad area of gravitational science
Over four decades after he began his scientific engagement with gravitational science, Professor Abhay Ashtekar is set to receive the prestigious Einstein Prize conferred by the American Physical Society (APS).
The prize for 2018, which carries an award of $10,000, is scheduled to be announced on October 23. Its citation reads: “For numerous and seminal contributions to general relativity, including the theory of black holes, canonical quantum gravity, and quantum cosmology.”
Ashtekar is professor of physics, Evan Pugh Professor, Holder, Eberly Chair, and director of the Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos at the Pennsylvania State University.
“The prize is special because it is the highest honour bestowed by APS in the broad area of gravitational science. The first Einstein prize was awarded jointly to Peter Bergmann and John Wheeler, who introduced general relativity to American universities by creating research groups. Perhaps because the first award often sets the tone, subsequent prizes have come to recognise ‘lifetime achievements’. So the news was deeply satisfying,” said Ashtekar.
Ashtekar’s passion for physical sciences started while he was in high school in India. What he found most remarkable was that, unlike art and literature, which are “so tied to human conditions”, Newton’s laws transcend both.
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