16th September 1931: Famous Indian Physicist George Sudarshan is Born


On 16th September 1931 famous Indian physicist George Sudarshan was born in Kerala.


Ennackal Chandy George Sudarshan, popularly known as George Sudarshan was born to a Syrian Christian family in Kottayam where he spent his early life. Sudarshan was a student of CMS College Kottayam and graduated from the Madras Christian College with honours in 1951. Later in 1952 he secured a masters degree from the University of Madras. Following this Sudarshan moved to the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) and worked along with Homi Bhabha, popular nuclear physicist. Later Sudarshan went to New York to study at the University of Rochester along with Robert Marshak as a graduate student. In 1958, Sudarshan was awarded a Ph.D from the University of Rochester, after which he moved to Harvard University as a post doctoral fellow alongside Julian Schwinger.


As a physicist, Sudarshan has made tremendous contribution to many areas of Physics. Along with Marshak, Sudarshan was the founder of the V-A Theory of the weak force, which eventually set the path for the Electroweak Theory. Sudarshan is also credited for the development of the quantum representation of coherent light.


Apart from this, Sudarshan’s most important work remains in the field of Quantum Optics. Sudarshan’s theory proves the equivalence of classical wave optics to quantum optics. He also suggested the existence of Tachyons, which are essentially particles which travel faster than light. He also developed something called Dynamical Maps which aids the study of the theory of open quantum system. Along with Biddyanaith Misra, Sudarshan proposed the idea of the quantum Zeno effect.


Sudarshan has also taught at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Syracuse University, University of Rochester and Harvard University. Since 1969 Sudarshan has been with the University of Texas (Austin) in the capacity of a professor of Physics and is also a Senior Professor at the Indian Institute of Science. During the 1980’s he worked as the Director of the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Chennai. During that time Sudarshan divided his time between India and the US. Apart from teaching, Sudarshan has also had many interesting discussions with J. Krishnamurti, a renowned philosopher.


Sudarshan’s areas of interest include quantum optics, quantum field theory, elementary parcel physics, gauge field theory, foundation of Physics and classical mechanics. Apart from Physics, Sudarshan is also interested in Vedanta, a topic on which he frequently gives lectures.


Given his vast work in the field of Physics, Sudarshan has won many awards, including; C.V Raman Award (1970), Padma Bhushan (1976), Bose Medal (1977), First Prize in Physics, Third World Academy of Science (1985), Majorana Prize (2006), Padma Vibhushan (2007), Dirac Medal of the ICTP (2010) and the Kerala Sastra Puraskaram, the state award for a lifetime accomplishment in Science (2013).


Also on This Day:


1931: Political prisoners in Hijli detention camp (near Kharagpur) were fired upon by the prison authorities. Two died and many were injured.


1954: The Lok Sabha adopted a clause in the Special Marriage Bill providing for divorce by consent.


1977: Kesarbai Kerkar, a classical vocalist passed away in Mumbai.


1995: Prime Minister inducts 16 new members into his Council of Ministers and elevates three deputy ministers to the rank of Ministers of State.

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