V. Balakrishnan (physicist)
|This biographical article relies too much on references to primary sources. (January 2008)|
|Fields||Particle physics, many-body theory, dynamical systems, stochastic processes, quantum dynamics, mechanical behavior of solids, and others|
|Alma mater||St. Stephens College
V. Balakrishnan (born 1943 as Venkataraman Balakrishnan) is an Indian theoretical physicist who has worked in a number of fields of areas, including particle physics, many-body theory, the mechanical behavior of solids, dynamical systems, stochastic processes, and quantum dynamics. He is an accomplished researcher who has made important contributions to the theory of anelasticity, continuous-time random walks, and recurrences in dynamical systems.
He received his PhD from Brandeis University in 1970. After a decade at TIFR and IGCAR Kalpakkam, he joined IIT Madras as a Professor of Physics in 1980. He was elected a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences in 1985.
In addition to his research, Balakrishnan is a popular and noted teacher of physics, known for his engaging teaching style, which combines physical insight, mathematical rigor, and wry wit. He has taught a wide range of courses over the past 30 years from introductory physics to quantum field theory to dynamical systems. Two of his courses (38 lectures on classical physics and 31 on quantum physics) taught at IIT Madras through National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) are available on YouTube, and are extremely popular, having received about 1 million views in all (as of December 2011). A third series appeared in June 2014 on mathematical physics. Towards the end of July 2014, NPTEL released a fourth series of lectures titled Topics in Nonlinear Dynamics.
Balakrishnan has authored the book Elements of Nonequilibrium Statistical Mechanics (CRC Press 2008). A review in the journal Soft Materials explained that rather than providing comprehensive coverage of the field of nonequilibrium statistical mechanics, the book focuses on explaining the Langevin and Fokker–Planck equations. He co-authored the book Beyond the Crystalline State: An Emerging Perspective (Springer 1989).
His wife, Radha Balakrishnan, is a theoretical physicist who works on nonlinear dynamics (in particular, solitons and integrable systems). His son, Hari Balakrishnan, is currently the Fujitsu Professor of Computer Science at MIT. His daughter, Hamsa Balakrishnan, is also on the faculty at MIT as an Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
- "Fellow profile". Indian Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
- http://www.amazon.com/dp/1420074199 Elements of Nonequilibrium Statistical Mechanics
- Duenweg, B (2008). "Book review: Elements of Nonequilibrium Statistical Mechanics". Soft Materials 6 (3): 157––158. doi:10.1080/15394450802330356. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
- http://www.amazon.com/dp/0387191100 Beyond the Crystalline State: An Emerging Perspective
- University Physics courses by Prof. Balakrishnan at IITM
- Core YouTube courses by Prof. Balakrishnan in Classical and Quantum Physics
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