A. P. Balachandran

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A. P. Balachandran
A. P. Balachandran.jpg
Born January 25, 1938
Salem, British India
Residence Syracuse, New York; Kerala, India
Citizenship Indian
Fields Physicist
Institutions Syracuse University
Alma mater Madras
Doctoral advisor Alladi Ramakrishnan
Doctoral students Pierre Ramond
Known for Topological methods in quantum physics,
Works on noncommutative geometry

Aiyalam Parameswaran Balachandran (Malayalam: ഐയ്ലം പരമേശ്വരന്‍ ബാലചന്ദ്രന്‍; born January 25, 1938) is an Indian theoretical physicist well known for his extensive contributions to the role of classical topology in quantum physics. He has been the Joel Dorman Steele Professor of Physics in Syracuse University since 2000.[1] He has also been a Fellow of the American Physical Society and awarded a prize by the U.S. Chapter of the Indian Physics Association in recognition of his outstanding scientific contributions.[2] In 1990, Syracuse University honored him with a Chancellor's Citation for Exceptional Academic Achievement,[3] and in 1991 he was qualified for the university's William Wasserstrom Prize for Outstanding Graduate Teaching.[1]

Prof. Balachandran's key scientific works to date include the revival of the Skyrme model which successfully describes baryons as topological solitons of meson fields and extensive applications and popularisation of mathematical concepts such as homotopy groups and fibre bundles to problems in quantum physics. Lately Prof. Balachandran's research has been focused on the formulation of quantum field theories on noncommutative spacetimes and investigating the emergent significance of Hopf algebras in quantum physics as generalisations of symmetry groups.[4]

Early Life and Education[edit]

Balachandran was born on 25 January 1938 in Salem, Tamil Nadu, India. His Father Aiyalam Sundaram Parameswaran was a chartered accountant in Pierce Leslie and Company in Cochin. His mother Alamelu had high school education and was a housewife. Father's ancestral family came from Aiyalam and Parali villages in Kerala. They had a house and a small orchard in Parali. Balachandran has a brother Sankaran and sister Malathi and they spent their school years in Eranakulam, a locality in Cochin, and Kozhikode. Kerala was in a state of rapid social change with strong left movements when Balachandran was growing up. There were constant resonances of the ambient cultural and literary resurgence in Sri Ramavarma High School where Balachandran studied. Balachandran had a gifted poet, Vyloppilli Sreedhara Menon, as his teacher. Balachandran completed his first two college years in Guruvayurappan College, Kozhikode specailising in physics, chemistry and mathematics and passing the 'Intermediate Examination' with all-State distinction in 1953. At the time when engineering was a fashion due to the availability of jobs, Balachandran wanted to do mathematics, which had poor job prospects. As a compromise, he joined B.Sc.(Hons) in Physics in the Madras Christian College, Tambaram, Chennai. Balachandran passed out of MCC in 1958.


Balachandran started on his research career in 1959 when he became a doctoral student under Professor Alladi Ramakrishnan at the University of Madras. At that time, the development of theoretical physics in India was very poor. Centres like the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research were in the process of development. At Madras (now Chennai ), the physicists were very isolated. They learnt quantum field theory by forming study groups among students and Prof. Ramakrishnan and lecturing to each other. The S-matrix approach to the fundamental interactions was very fashionable, and they too were strongly influenced by this fashion. Their exposure to external world was by preprints sent by surface mail by many institutions, journals and visitors. They were fortunate that they had several outstanding physicists and mathematicians like Abdus Salam and Lighthill visiting Chennai, although only for brief periods.

Prof. Balachandran submitted his Ph.D. thesis in 1962 and on 1 May of the same year arrived in Vienna at the Theoretische Physik, Universitaet Wien as a postdotoral fellow under Prof. Walter Thirring. That summer he attended the first meeting organised by Dr. Abdus Salam at Trieste which was the prelude to the formation of the present International Centre for Theoretical Physics. After Vienna, in November 1963 Bal went to the Enrico Fermi Institute as a postdoc. In 1964 fall, he joined the Syracuse University faculty.[5]

Prof. Balachandran's the most important scientific contributions are in the fields of classical topology and quantum states, skyrmions, and noncommutative geometry.


  1. A. P. Balachandran, S. G. Jo, G. Marmo, Group Theory and Hopf Algebras: Lectures for Physicists, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., 2010. ISBN 978-981-4322-20-1.
  2. A. P. Balachandran, G. Marmo, B. S. Skagerstam, A. Stern, Classical Topology and Quantum States, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., Singapore, 1991. ISBN 981-02-0329-2 --ISBN 9-81020-330-6 (pbk.)
  3. A. P. Balachandran, G. Marmo, B. S. Skagerstam, A. Stern, Gauge Symmetries and Fibre Bundles : Applications to Particle Dynamics, Springer Verlag, 1983. ISBN 0-38712-724-0.
  4. A. P. Balachandran (Editor), A. P. Balachandran, E. Ercolessi, G. Morandi, A.M. Srivastava, Hubbard Model and Anyon Superconductivity, World Scientific Publishing Co. Inc. 1990. ISBN 981-02-0348-9.
  5. A. P. Balachandran, S. Kurkcuoglu, S. Vaidya, Lectures on Fuzzy and Fuzzy Susy Physics, World Scientific Publishing Co. Inc. 2007. ISBN 981-270-466-3.
  6. A. P. Balachandran, G.C. Trahern, Lectures on Group Theory for Physicists, Brill Academic Publishing, 1986. ISBN 88-7088-088-5.
  7. A. P. Balachandran (Editor), Hubbard Model and Anyon Superconductivity, World Scientific Publishing Co. Inc. 1991. ISBN 981-02-0349-7.


The following are some of Prof. Balachandran's the most influential research papers cited over 100 times:

  • Dibaryons as Chiral Solitons. A. P. Balachandran, F. Lizzi, V. G. J. Rodgers, (Syracuse U.), A. Stern, (Oregon U.) . SU-4222-296, COO-3533-296, Jan 1985. 51pp. Published in Nucl. Phys. B256:525,1985. doi:10.1016/0550-3213(85)90407-9
  • A Doubly Strange Dibaryon in the Chiral Model. A. P. Balachandran, A. Barducci, F. Lizzi, V. G. J. Rodgers, (Syracuse U.), A. Stern, (Texas U.) . SU-4222-277, COO-3533-277, Dec 1983. 11pp. Published in Phys. Rev. Lett. 52:887, 1984. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.52.887
  • Monopole Topology And The Problem Of Color. A. P. Balachandran, G. Marmo, N. Mukunda, J. S. Nilsson, E. C. G. Sudarshan, F. Zaccaria, (Texas U. & Syracuse U. & Naples U. & INFN, Naples & Bangalore, Indian Inst. Sci. & Goteborg, ITP) . DOE-ER-03992-502, Nov 1982. 5pp. Published in Phys.Rev.Lett.50:1553,1983. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.50.1553
  • Soliton States in the QCD Effective Lagrangian. A. P. Balachandran, V. P. Nair, S. G. Rajeev, (Syracuse U.), A. Stern, (Texas U.) . SU-4217-234, COO-3533-234, Sep 1982. 35pp. Published in Phys.Rev.D27:1153,1983, Erratum-ibid.D27:2772,1983. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.27.2772
  • Exotic Levels from Topology in the QCD Effective Lagrangian. A. P. Balachandran, V. P. Nair, S. G. Rajeev, (Syracuse U.), A. Stern, (Texas U.) . SU-4217-218, COO-3533-218, Apr 1982. 12pp. Published in Phys.Rev.Lett.49:1124,1982, Erratum-ibid.50:1630,1983. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.49.1124
  • A Nonperturbative Proof of the Nonabelian Anomalies. A. P. Balachandran, G. Marmo, V. P. Nair, C. G. Trahern, (Syracuse U.) . SU-4217-198, COO-3533-198, Jun 1981. 11pp. Published in Phys.Rev.D25:2713,1982. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.25.2713
  • Classical Description of Particle Interacting with Nonabelian Gauge Field. A. P. Balachandran, (Syracuse U. & Goteborg, ITP), Per Salomonson, Bo-Sture Skagerstam, Jan-Olof Winnberg, (Goteborg, ITP) . GOTEBORG-76-35, Nov 1976. 38pp. Published in Phys.Rev.D15:2308,1977. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.15.2308


  1. ^ a b "Balachandran named Steele Professor of Physics". Syracuse Record, p. 7. Dec 6, 1999. 
  2. ^ Physics at Syracuse
  3. ^ "SU Chancellor honors contribution of 4". Syracuse Herald American, p. C3. Feb 18, 1990. 
  4. ^ Faces and places, CERN Courier, September 2003, describing a celebration of Balachandran's 65th birthday held at a meeting on Spacetime and Fundamental Interactions: Quantum Aspects near Naples, Italy, in May 2003.
  5. ^ Smith, David (March 16, 1990). "Chancellor recognizes faculty, stuff achievements". The Daily Orange, p. 9. 

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