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Updated: August 13, 2010 23:22 IST

E.C.G. Sudarshan shares Dirac Medal with Italian

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File photo of Indian-American professor Ennackal Chandy George Sudarshan.
The Hindu File photo of Indian-American professor Ennackal Chandy George Sudarshan.

An Indian-American professor at the University of Texas, Austin, has won the prestigious Dirac Medal for his contribution to the understanding of theoretical physics.

Ennackal Chandy George Sudarshan, 78, shares the Dirac 2010 with Italian physicist Nicola Cabibbo.

Professor Sudarshan's contributions to theoretical physics include the discovery of the V-A theory of weak interactions, which opened the way for full description of the unified electroweak theory.

The Dirac Medal of ICTP is awarded by the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) on renowned physicist P.A.M Dirac's birthday — August 8. It was first awarded in 1985. The winners also receive a prize of $5,000.

Criteria

One of the criteria that the recipients must qualify is that they should not have won a Nobel prize, the Fields Medal or the Wolf Foundation prize till the Dirac Medal was conferred on them.

Both Professor Cabibbo and Professor Sudarshan were passed over by the Nobel committee earlier. The Italian physicist in 2008 and Professor Sudarshan in 1979 and 2005.

‘Long overdue'

In awarding the Dirac Medal to the duo, ICTP director Fernando Quevedo called it “recognition that is long overdue,” and praised them for their strong links to science in the developing world.

The ICTP was set up by Pakistani-born physicist in 1964 to foster advanced studies and research in physics and mathematics, especially in developing countries.

Professor Sudarshan, originally from Pallam in Kottayam district of Kerala, has also taught at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, University of Rochester, Syracuse University and Harvard.

He has been a professor at the university since 1969 and a Senior Professor at the Indian Institute of Science.

He served as the Director of the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai, for five years during the 1980s, dividing his time between India and the U.S. His areas of interest include elementary particle physics, quantum optics, quantum information, quantum field theory, gauge field theories, classical mechanics and foundations of physics.

Professor Cabibbo is currently chair of ICTP's Scientific Council.

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