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Ashoke Sen

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Ashoke Sen
Sen in the Physics department of Scottish Church College in 2019
Born (1956-07-15) 15 July 1956 (age 67)
Alma mater
Known forContributions to string field theory
Sen Conjecture
SpouseSumathi Rao
Scientific career
Doctoral advisor

Ashoke Sen FRS (/əˈʃk sɛn/; born 1956) is an Indian theoretical physicist and distinguished professor at the International Centre for Theoretical Sciences (ICTS), Bangalore.[1] A former distinguished professor at the Harish-Chandra Research Institute, Allahabad,[2] He is also an honorary fellow in National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER), Bhubaneswar, India[3] he is also a 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 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics "for opening the path to the realization that all string theories are different limits of the same underlying theory".[4]

Early life[edit]

He was born on 15 July 1956[5] in Kolkata, and is the elder son of Anil Kumar Sen, a former professor of physics at the Scottish Church College, Kolkata, and Gouri Sen, a homemaker.[6]

After completing his schooling from Sailendra Sircar Vidyalaya 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,[7] 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.[8] His description of rolling tachyons[9] 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.[2] His contributions include the entropy function formalism for extremal black holes and its applications to attractors. His recent important works include the attractor mechanism and the precision counting of microstates of black holes, and new developments in string perturbation theory. He joined the National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER), Bhubaneswar, India as an honorary professor in the School of Physical Sciences.[3] In the year 2020, he joined Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Bhopal (IISER Bhopal), Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India as a Visiting / Adjunct Professor in the department of Physics.[10] He is currently serving as a distinguished professor at the International Centre for Theoretical Sciences (ICTS), Bangalore where he is working on string theory. His specific research interests include S-duality, tachyon condensation, black hole entropy and superstring perturbation theory.[1][better source needed]

Honors and awards[edit]



  1. ^ a b "Ashoke Sen | ICTS". www.icts.res.in. Retrieved 10 June 2023.
  2. ^ a b c Pulakkat, Hari (19 December 2013). "How many of us know about Breakthrough Prize winner, Ashoke Sen?". The Economic Times. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  3. ^ a b "School of Physical Sciences". National Institute of Science Education and Research. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Breakthrough Prize - Fundamental Physics Breakthrough Prize Laureates - Ashoke Sen". breakthroughprize.org. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Fellow Profile – Sen, Prof. Ashoke". Indian Academy of Sciences. Bangalore: Indian Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  6. ^ Miudur, G.S. (2 August 2012). "Physicist with pillow power". Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  7. ^ 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 (2–3): 217–221. arXiv:hep-th/9402032. Bibcode:1994PhLB..329..217S. doi:10.1016/0370-2693(94)90763-3. S2CID 17534677.
  8. ^ Sen, Ashoke (1998). "Tachyon condensation on the brane antibrane system". JHEP. 1998 (8): 012. arXiv:hep-th/9805170. Bibcode:1998JHEP...08..012S. doi:10.1088/1126-6708/1998/08/012. S2CID 14588486.
  9. ^ Sen, Ashoke (2002). "Rolling Tachyon". JHEP. 2002 (4): 048. arXiv:hep-th/0203211. Bibcode:2002JHEP...04..048S. doi:10.1088/1126-6708/2002/04/048. S2CID 12023565.
  10. ^ "Department of Physics". Indian Institute of Science, Education & Research- Bhopal (IISER-Bhopal). Archived from the original on 22 September 2022. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  11. ^ "ICTP Prize Winner 1989". Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  12. ^ "Prizes and Awards". The World Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  13. ^ The Year Book 2014 // Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi.
  14. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  15. ^ "Infosys Prize - Laureates 2009 - Prof. K VijayRaghavan". www.infosys-science-foundation.com.
  16. ^ "New annual US$3 million Fundamental Physics Prize recognizes transformative advances in the field". Breakthrough Prize. 31 July 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  17. ^ "Indian scientist Ashoke Sen bags top physics honour". The Times of India. 2 August 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  18. ^ "Rajesh Khanna, Sridevi, Mary Kom, Rahul Dravid on Padma list". The Times of India. TNN. 26 January 2013. Archived from the original on 28 January 2013.
  19. ^ "ICTP - Dirac Medallists 2014". www.ictp.it.

External links[edit]

Media related to Ashoke Sen (physicist) at Wikimedia Commons