Pervez Hoodbhoy

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Pervez Hoodbhoy
Pervez Hoodbhoy.jpg
Pervez Hoodbhoy
Born (1950-07-11) 11 July 1950 (age 64)
Karachi, Sindh Province, West Pakistan
Residence Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory
Citizenship Pakistan
Nationality Pakistani
Fields Nuclear Physics
Institutions Quaid-e-Azam University
National Center for Physics
Forman Christian College
Alma mater Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Known for Parton distribution functions, Field Theory, Phenomenology, supersymmetry and Abstract algebra
Influences Abdus Salam, George Bernard Shaw,[1] Bertrand Russell[2]
Notable awards UNESCO Kalinga Prize (2003)
Fulbright Award (1998–99)
Faiz Ahmed Faiz Award (1990)
Abdus Salam Award (1984)
Baker Award for Electronics[3] (1968)

Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy (Urdu: پرویز ہودبھائی; Gujurati: પરવેઝ હૂદ્ભોય born 11 July 1950), is a Pakistani nuclear physicist, essayist and defence analyst. He has taught Physics at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) as a visiting professor, where he also worked on topics in theoretical applications in the topological insulators, various Hall effects and Graphene. Before joining LUMS, he was a professor of nuclear and high-energy physics, and also the head of the Physics Department, at the Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad. Currently, he holds the Zohra and Z. Z. Ahmed endowed chair in the departments of Mathematics and Physics at Forman Christian College.

He graduated and also received a PhD from MIT and continues to do research in Particle physics. He received the Baker Award for Electronics in 1968,[3] and the Abdus Salam Prize for Mathematics in 1984.[4] He has authored various scientific research papers in peer-reviewed journals.[4]

Hoodbhoy is also a prominent environmentalist and social activist and regularly writes on a wide range of social, cultural and environmental issues. He is the chairman of Mashal, a non-profit organisation which publishes Urdu books on feminism, education, environmental issues, philosophy, and modern thought. Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy is a strong supporter of peaceful use of nuclear technology in Pakistan, nuclear non-proliferation, and nuclear disarmament; he has criticised the United States, Israel, Pakistan's and India's nuclear program in many national and international forums.


Youth and academic career[edit]

Hoodbhoy did the O and A-Level exams in Karachi, Sindh and attended Karachi Grammar School.[5] After completing his high school in Pakistan he got a partial scholarship at MIT to pursue his undergraduate studies there. Hoodbhoy showed great interest in Electronics and Mathemetics.,[6] Hoodbhoy studied for his double major and gained his double Bachelor of Sciences in Mathematics and Electrical engineering, followed by MS in Solid-state physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1973,.[7] After graduation he got a job at Quaid e Azam University and left the US for Pakistan.

He went on to obtain a DPhil in Nuclear Physics in 1978 from the same institution.[8] During his doctoral studies, Hoodbhoy had worked with numerous Manhattan Project scientists (who had worked closely in the development of a first implosion device— Fat Man atom bomb in the 1940s) in the field of nuclear physics.[8] Later, he remained a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Washington.[7] Hoodbhoy, joined the Institute of Physics, later Department of Physics, as professor of Physics, since 1973.[7] He spent his research career extensively on Quantum field theory, Particle Phenomenology, and Supersymmetry in the area of Particle physics.[7] Hoodbhoy currently teaches at Lahore University of Management Sciences, and is a visiting professor of Mathematics at the Carnegie Mellon University, and visiting professor of physics at both University of Maryland at College Park, and remains a senior visiting scientist at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.[7] Hoodbhoy also occasionally lectures on various topics in Mathematics and Physics in the American and European research institutions. Hoodbhoy is a prominent sponsor of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, representing the Pakistan's delegation.[9] Hoodbhoy is also a senior member of Pakistan Atomic Scientists Federation (PASF). He also serves on the International Advisory Council of the Brookings Doha Center. After receiving his doctorate in physics, Hoodbhoy, at MIT, met with the renowned scientists Dr. Abdus Salam and Riazuddin where Salam gave his lectures on particle physics. Hoodbhoy then travelled to Trieste where he became a research associate at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP).[10] At ICTP, Hoodbhoy began his research in particle physics that was supervised by Professor Salam.[10] In 1999, Hoodbhoy with Ishfaq Ahmad and Riazuddin, played a major and influential role in the establishment of National Centre of Physics (NCP). With its establishment, Hoodbhoy became one of the earliest academic scientists who joined the NCP at its inception.

Defence and political views[edit]

Apart from his specialist field of research, Hoodbhoy extensively writes and speaks on topics ranging from science in Islam to education and nuclear disarmament issues around the world.[11] He is author of Islam and Science: Religious Orthodoxy and the Battle for Rationality, that has been translated into five languages.[4] In this book, Hoodbhoy outlines the history of Pakistan, implications of theocracy and military dictatorships in Pakistan, and the abstract textbook system in education system of Pakistan. His articles on various issues related to science and social issues are often published in international media. His publications are repeatedly published in both technical and non-technical papers.[4] Hoodbhoy widely writes about the role and modernisation of Pakistan Armed Forces, particularly the defence budget spending by the Government of Pakistan on Pakistan Armed Forces. He has been critical of the role of Pakistan Armed Forces in politics and the imposition of unlawful Martial Law. Hoodbhoy heavily criticises militant and fundamentalist Islam, while avidly supporting Pakistan Armed Forces in their operations against the Islamic extremism in his country. Hoodbhoy was among the first activists who voiced their support for the Pakistan Armed Forces Operation Black Thunderstorm, as part of conflict in West-Pakistan.

In an interview on secularism, he mentioned that obsession with scientific-religious Apophenia may have caused lack of scientific advancement among Muslims in recent years.[12] In 2003 he was one the signers of the Humanist Manifesto.[13]

Nuclear weapons in South Asia[edit]

Hoodbhoy is a leading vocal critic of nuclear weapons, and especially of the ongoing nuclear weapons expansion in South Asia.[14] He holds India responsible for Pakistan's symmetric nuclear weapons programme as part of Pakistan's self credible deterrence.[14] According to Hoodbhoy, India's nuclear tests forced Pakistan to jump into the nuclear arena in 1974, and again in 1998, after war-threatening statements were made by Indian government to Pakistan; Pakistan equalised (see Chagai-I and Chagai-II) this magnitude over the nuclear edge that same month.[14] He believes that Pakistan's nuclear deterrence programme has protected Pakistan and helped prevent conflict in numerous war threatening situations with India.[14] Hoodbhoy has also warned about the possibility of radical Islamists gaining control of Pakistan's nuclear weapons.[14]

Science research[edit]

Hoodbhoy has made important contributions in physics, particularly in particle physics. Many of Hoodbhoy's recorded lectures on physics are available online.[15] At National Center for Physics, Hoodbhoy conducted research on different aspects of particle physics, and pioneered studies in modern physics and its extension to mathematical and nuclear physics. In 2006, Hoodbhoy published a brief mathematical description of Generalized Parton Distributions. In 2007, Hoodbhoy re-published the work of Jens Lyng Peterson the Maldacena conjecture (a conjectured equivalence between a string theory and gravity defined on one space, and a quantum field theory without gravity defined by one or less dimension) where he contributed mathematically to the theory.[16] In the same year, he re-published the work of Edward Witten on Anti-de Sitter space and its extension to the field of Holography. While the paper was published experimentally in 1998 by Witten, Hoodbhoy provided the brief mathematical proofs and description to understand, logically, the subject of Sitter space— a scalar curvature in general theory of relativity.[17]

On 14 April 2001, it was announced that Dr. Hoodbhoy would be receiving Sitara-i-Imtiaz from the former President, General (retired) Pervaiz Musharraf which he refused to accept. His refusal prompted the Friday Times to interview him.

I am reasonably [satisfied] with my (scientific) work... I do not think it is earth-shaking or... that it deserves any kind of [award]. On the other hand, receiving an [award] – even if it is a high national award – would give me absolutely no sense of achievement or satisfaction... because it carries no credibility or prestige in professional circles. Such things do not indicate that you have done good work in your field. Therefore I decided to refuse the award

—Pervez Hoodbhoy, issued the statement on The Friday Times, 2001[18]

Documentary films[edit]

He produced a 13-part documentary series in Urdu for Pakistan Television on critical issues in education, and two series aimed at popularising science. In 2004, he made a documentary film 'Crossing the Lines: Kashmir, Pakistan, India' along with Dr. Zia Mian.[19] These documentaries carry heavy emphasis on the issues of education, public health and scientific revolution in Pakistan.

In his documentaries, Dr. Hoodbhoy has heavily criticised Pakistan and India's nuclear weapons program. He also pointed out the seriousness of the Talibanization in Pakistan and its immediate effects on South Asia. His documentaries also point out that American and NATO forces in Afghanistan didn't help the Afghan people's life and there was no reform in Afghanistan's social and public sector and, instead, the insurgency and corruption grew, which also destabilised Pakistan's western front.[4]


  • Crossing the Lines: Kashmir, Pakistan, India (2004)
  • The Bell Tolls for Planet Earth (2003)
  • Pakistan and India Under the Nuclear Shadow (2001)

Pervez Hoodbhoy on Higher Education Commission (HEC)[edit]

Hoodbhoy was a harsh critic of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) while it was headed by Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman. This led to numerous print and television media debates.

The administrative competency of HEC was called into question. The achievements of the HEC initiative which involved the development, staffing and management of universities, with the aim of attracting foreign academics to Pakistan, were described as ‘dismal’. In the case of UESTP-France, in Karachi, out of an expected faculty strength of between 450 to 600, no French faculty or administrative staff actually arrived.

The data used to support the positive appraisal of HEC's activities was questioned in a series of communications between Hoodbhoy and HEC chairman Atta-Ur-Rehman. It was claimed by the latter that in mathematics, Pakistani authors received 20% more citations than the worldwide average. Hoodbhoy questioned this on several grounds including the number of self-citations these publications received and said that this was a crucial aspect that the HEC left out of its interpretation.

Criticism was levelled by Hoodbhoy at the practice of hiring those foreign academics in local universities who were said to have difficulty in communicating and teaching, although they contributed to boosting the number of research publications originating from Pakistani universities.

An article published in ‘Nature’ on 3 September 2009 was the source of much debate. While it reported many achievements and showered much praise on the activities of the HEC, Hoodbhoy asked that the education system be assessed on the changes in quality of teaching in public universities, procedures for selection of students, and on whether campuses began to see greater academic freedom, greater transparency and less violence from extremist groups.

Awards and honours[edit]

He is also the recipient of:



Scientific papers and articles[edit]

  • Two-Photon Effects in Lepton-AntiLepton Pair Photoproduction from a Nucleon Target using Real Photons, Authors: Pervez Hoodbhoy, Phys.Rev. D73 (2006) 054027
  • Probing Quark Distribution Amplitudes Through Generalized Parton Distributions at Large Momentum Transfer, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Xiangdong Ji, Feng Yuan, Phys.Rev.Lett. 92 (2004) 012003
  • Explicit Proof that Electroproduction of Transversely Polarized Vector Mesons Vanishes in Perturbative QCD, Pervez Hoodbhoy (University of Maryland and Quaid-e-Azam University), Phys.Rev. D65 (2002) 077501
  • Does the Gluon Spin Contribute in A Gauge Invariant Way to Nucleon Spin? Pervez Hoodbhoy, Xiangdong Ji, Phys.Rev. D60 (1999) 114042
  • Nucleon-Quarkonium Elastic Scattering and the Gluon Contribution to Nucleon Spin, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Phys.Rev.Lett. 82 (1999) 4985–4987
  • Implications of Color Gauge Symmetry For Nucleon Spin Structure, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Xiangdong Ji, Wei Lu, Phys.Rev. D59 (1999) 074010
  • Quark Orbital-Angular-Momentum Distribution in the Nucleon, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Xiangdong Ji, Wei Lu, Phys.Rev. D59 (1999) 014013
  • The Spin Structure of the Nucleon in the Asymptotic Limit, Ji, J. Tang (MIT), P. Hoodbhoy (Quaid-e-Azam, Pakistan), Phys.Rev.Lett. 76 (1996) 740–743
  • Helicity-Flip Off-Forward Parton Distributions of the Nucleon, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Xiangdong Ji, Phys.Rev. D58 (1998) 054006
  • Wavefunction corrections and off-forward gluon distributions in diffractive J/psi electroproduction, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Phys.Rev. D56 (1997) 388–393
  • Relativistic and Binding Energy Corrections to Direct Photon Production In Upsilon Decay, Mohammad Ali Yusuf, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Phys.Rev. D54 (1996) 3345–3349
  • Beyond The Colour-Singlet Model For Inelastic J_psi Photoproduction, H. Khan, P. Hoodbhoy, Phys. Lett. B382 (1996) 189
  • The Spin Structure of the Nucleon in the Asymptotic Limit, X. Ji, J. Tang (MIT), P. Hoodbhoy (Quaid-e-Azam, Pakistan), Phys.Rev.Lett. 76 (1996) 740–743
  • Novel approach to decays, gluon distributions, and fragmentation functions of heavy quarkonia, Rafia Ali, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Phys.Rev. D51 (1995) 2302–2310
  • Quark fragmentation functions in a diquark model for proton and $\Lambda$ hyperon production, Muhammad Nzar, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Phys.Rev. D51 (1995) 32–36
  • Systematic gauge invariant approach to heavy quarkonium decays, Hafsa Khan, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Phys.Rev. D53 (1996) 2534–2540
  • Twist-Four Distributions in a Transversely-Polarized Nucleon and the Drell-Yan Process, Pevrez Hoodbhoy, Xiangdong Xi, Phys.Rev. D50 (1994) 4429–4435
  • Detecting Two-Photon Exchange Effects in Hard Scattering from Nucleon Targets, in Mathematical Physics: Proceedings of the 12th Regional Conference, Islamabad, Pakistan 27 March – 1 April 2006, World Scientific, Singapore, 2007. ISBN 978-981-270-591-4
  • Abdus Salam: Past and Present- The News (29 January 1996)
  • Generalized Parton Distributions, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad

Appearances in TV shows[edit]

  • Aik Din Geo Kay Saath on Geo TV, February 2010
  • Capital Talk on Geo TV, 29 August 2012


  1. ^ [1] Dr. Sohail Interview, Retrieved 29 March 2012
  2. ^ Dr. K. Sohail (February 2000). "How Difficult it is to Help People Change their Thinking – Interview with Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy". Retrieved 31 December 2013. Pervez: "I started reading the plays of Bernard Shaw and later on, the works of Bertrand Russell. That had such an impact on me that it bowled me over and by the time I was 15, I was lost, lost to "all good things"." 
  3. ^ a b c Pervaiz Hoodbhoy, Sohail Varaich (2010). ADGKS Parvez Hood Bhoy 187605 C3.mp4 =channel (Television production). Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory: Geo TV. 
  4. ^ a b c d e (FPS), Fulbright Scholar Program (2007). "U.S. and Non U.S. Scholar: Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy". Global Zero. Fulbright Program. Retrieved 2011. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b c d e (Global 0), Global Zero. "Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy". Global Zero. Global Zero. Retrieved 2011. 
  8. ^ a b Parvez Hood Bhoy (2010). ADGKS Parvez Hood Bhoy 187605 C1.mp4 (Television Production). Geo TV. 
  9. ^ CGPACS (2006) 15th Annual Margolis Lecture with Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy. The Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies. University of California, Irvine. 12 May. Retrieved on 22 May 2008
  10. ^ a b "Fascinating encounters: Prof Abdus Salam". Hoodbhoy. Retrieved 2011.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  11. ^ Hoodbhoy (1998) Talk by Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy on nuclear tests in the Indian subcontinent. The Alliance, Pakistan Students Society at MIT, and the MIT Program in Science, Technology, and Society. 12 May. Retrieved on 22 May 2008
  12. ^ Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy: "Islam and Science Have Parted Ways"; Interview in Middle East Quarterly; Winter 2010, pp. 69–74, Retrieved 2 March 2012
  13. ^ "Notable Signers". Humanism and Its Aspirations. American Humanist Association. Retrieved 6 October 2012. 
  14. ^ a b c d e Hoodbhoy, PhD (Nuclear Physics), Pervez Amerali (23 January 2011). "Pakistan's nuclear bayonet". Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy, Doctor of Philosophy (Nuclear Physics), Professor of Nuclear and High-Energy Physics at the Quaid-e-Azam University and Senior academic research scientist at the National Center for Nuclear Physics. Dr. Prof. Pervez Amerali Hoodbhoy and the The Herald. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ Peterson, Jens Lyng; Dr. Prof. Pervez Hoodbhoy (28–31 December 2009). "Introduction to Maldacena conjecture". Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory: Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy of National Center for Physics; Second National Winter Meeting on Particles and Fields and Jens Lyng Peterson. p. 41. Retrieved 2011. 
  17. ^ Witten, Dr. Prof. Edward; Dr. Prof. Pervez Hoodbhoy (28–31 December 2009). "Anti de Sitter Space and Holography". Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory: Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy of National Center for Physics; Second National Winter Meeting on Particles and Fields and Edward Witten (1998). p. 41. Retrieved 2011. 
  18. ^ Chowk
  19. ^ CGPACS (2006) Crossing the Lines: Kashmir, Pakistan, India

External links[edit]