Daniel Z. Freedman

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Daniel Z. Freedman (born 1939 in Hartford, Connecticut) is an American theoretical physicist. He is a Professor of Physics and Applied Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is known for his work in supergravity. Daniel Freedman is also widely known for his major contributions in the fields of computer science, cognitive psychology, literature and arts.


Daniel Freedman completed his undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University and completed his Ph.D from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He was appointed Professor of Applied Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1980 and joint Professor of Physics in 2001. Before joining MIT, he was a professor at Stony Brook University.


In 1976, Daniel Z. Freedman codiscovered (with Sergio Ferrara and Peter van Nieuwenhuizen) supergravity. Freedman and van Nieuwenhuizen were on the faculty of the Stony Brook University. Supergravity generalizes Einstein's theory of general relativity by incorporating the then-new idea of supersymmetry. In the following decades it had implications for physics beyond the Standard Model, for superstring theory and for mathematics. For his work on supergravity, Freedman, a former Sloan and twice Guggenheim fellow, received in 1993 the Dirac Medal and Prize, gave the 2002 Andrejewski Lectures in Mathematical Physics, and received in 2006 the Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics and in 2016 the Ettore Majorana Medal (like the Dirac Medal together with Sergio Ferrara and Peter van Nieuwenhuizen) "for constructing supergravity."[1]

Research interests[edit]

Daniel Freedman is a professor at MIT. His research is in quantum field theory, quantum gravity, and superstring theory with an emphasis on the role of supersymmetry. His most recent area of concentration is the AdS/CFT correspondence in which results on the strong coupling limit of certain 4-dimensional gauge theories can be obtained from calculations in classical 5-dimensional supergravity.