Ashoke Sen

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For the Indian politician, see Ashoke Kumar Sen.
Ashoke Sen
অশোক সেন
Born (1956-07-15) 15 July 1956 (age 60)
Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Residence Kolkata, Allahabad
Nationality Indian
Fields Physics
Institutions Fermilab
Stanford Linear Accelerator Center
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
Harish-Chandra Research Institute
Alma mater Scottish Church Collegiate School
Presidency College, Kolkata
University of Calcutta
IIT Kanpur
Stony Brook University
Doctoral advisor George Sterman
Known for Contributions to string field theory
Sen Conjecture
Notable awards G.D. Birla Award for Scientific Research (1996)
TWAS Prize (1997)Padma Shri (2001)
Infosys Prize - Mathematical Sciences (2009)
Fundamental Physics Prize (2012)
Padma Bhushan (2013)
Dirac Medal (2014)

Ashoke Sen, FRS (Bengali: অশোক সেন; born 1956) is an Indian theoretical physicist and distinguished professor at the Harish-Chandra Research Institute, Allahabad.[1] He also is the Morningstar Visiting professor at MIT and a distinguished professor at the Korea Institute for Advanced Study. His main area of work is String Theory. He was among the first recipients of the Fundamental Physics Prize “for opening the path to the realisation that all string theories are different limits of the same underlying theory”. Of the prizes for theoretical physics, the Fundamental Physics Prize is the one which pays the most prize money.

Early life[edit]

He was born on 15 July 1956[2] in Kolkata, and is the elder son of Anil Kumar Sen, a former professor of physics at the Scottish Church College, and Gouri Sen, a homemaker.[3]

After completing his schooling from the Sailendra Sircar Vidyalaya and the Scottish Church Collegiate School in Kolkata, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in 1975 from the Presidency College under the University of Calcutta, and his master’s a year later from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur. During his undergraduate studies at Presidency, he was greatly inspired by the work and teaching of Amal Kumar Raychaudhuri. He did his doctoral work in physics at Stony Brook University.


Ashoke Sen made a number of major original contributions to the subject of string theory, including his landmark paper on strong-weak coupling duality or S-duality,[4] which was influential in changing the course of research in the field. He pioneered the study of unstable D-branes and made the famous Sen conjecture about open string tachyon condensation on such branes.[5] His description of rolling tachyons[6] has been influential in string cosmology. He has also co-authored many important papers on string field theory. In 1998 he won the fellowship of the Royal Society on being nominated by the theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking.[1] His contributions include the entropy function formalism for extremal black holes and its applications to attractors. His current research interests are centered on the attractor mechanism and the precision counting of microstates of black holes. Recently he has joined National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER), Bhubaneswar, India as an honorary fellow.[7]

Honors and awards[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Pulakkat, Hari (Dec 19, 2013). "How many of us know about Breakthrough Prize winner, Ashoke Sen?". The Economic Times. 
  2. ^ a b "Fellow Profile — Sen, Prof. Ashoke". Indian Academy of Sciences. Bangalore: Indian Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  3. ^ Physicist with pillow power
  4. ^ Sen, Ashoke (1994). "Dyon — monopole bound states, selfdual harmonic forms on the multi — monopole moduli space, and SL(2,Z) invariance in string theory". Phys. Lett. B329: 217–221. arXiv:hep-th/9402032Freely accessible. Bibcode:1994PhLB..329..217S. doi:10.1016/0370-2693(94)90763-3. 
  5. ^ Sen, Ashoke (1998). "Tachyon condensation on the brane antibrane system". JHEP. 8: 012. arXiv:hep-th/9805170Freely accessible. Bibcode:1998JHEP...08..012S. doi:10.1088/1126-6708/1998/08/012. 
  6. ^ Sen, Ashoke (2002). "Rolling Tachyon". JHEP. 4: 048. arXiv:hep-th/0203211Freely accessible. Bibcode:2002JHEP...04..048S. doi:10.1088/1126-6708/2002/04/048. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Dirac Medallists 2014". 
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ "Rajesh Khanna, Sridevi, Mary Kom, Rahul Dravid on Padma list". Times of India. TNN. Jan 26, 2013. 
  11. ^ New annual US$3 million Fundamental Physics Prize recognizes transformative advances in the field Archived 3 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine., FPP, accessed 1 August 2012
  12. ^ "Indian scientist Ashoke Sen bags top physics honour". The Times Of India. 2012-08-02. 
  13. ^ [2][permanent dead link]
  14. ^
  15. ^ Infosys Prize 2009 Mathematical Sciences
  16. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2014. Retrieved July 21, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Prizes and Awards". The World Academy of Sciences. 2016. 
  18. ^ The Year Book 2014 // Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi
  19. ^ "ICTP Prize Winner 1989". Retrieved 2009-11-17. 

External links[edit]