Emil Martinec

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Emil John Martinec (born 1958) is an American string theorist, a physics professor at the Enrico Fermi Institute at the University of Chicago, and director of the Kadanoff Center for Theoretical Physics. He was part of a group at Princeton University that developed heterotic string theory in 1985.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Martinec was born October 4, 1958,[2] in Downers Grove, Illinois. He graduated from Northwestern University in 1979 and earned his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1984, with a dissertation titled, Quantum Mechanics Versus General Covariance In Gravity And String Models, advised by Michael Peskin.[3] He worked the last two years of his graduate education at SLAC, following Peskin's move there.


Early in his career, Martinec worked at Princeton University, where he was part of a research group known as the "Princeton string quartet" that also included physicists David Gross, Jeffrey A. Harvey and Ryan Rohm.[4] The group developed heterotic string theory in 1985.[5] As its name suggests, heterotic string theory combines elements of multiple versions of string theory to attempt to create a more realistic explanation of elementary particle physics. This work was part of a series of advances that forestalled the predicted merger of cosmology and fundamental physics.[6]

He is currently a professor at the Enrico Fermi Institute at the University of Chicago. He directs the university's Kadanoff Center for Theoretical Physics.[7]

Selected publications[edit]

Martinec is co-author of six papers that SLAC's inSPIRE database classifies as "renowned" (having 500 or more citations apiece):[8]



  1. ^ Cappelli, Andrea; Castellani, Elena; Colomo, Filippo; Vecchia, Paolo Di (2012-04-12). The Birth of String Theory. Cambridge University Press. p. 402. ISBN 9780521197908. 
  2. ^ "CV: Emil Martinec". theory.uchicago.edu. Retrieved 2018-02-14. 
  3. ^ Martinec, Emil J. (1984). "Quantum Mechanics Versus General Covariance In Gravity And String Models". 
  4. ^ Overbye, Dennis (December 7, 2004). "String theory, at 20, explains it all (or not)". The New York Times. Retrieved February 13, 2018. 
  5. ^ Mitra, Asoke Nath (2009). India in the World of Physics: Then and Now. Pearson Education India. p. 8. ISBN 9788131715796. 
  6. ^ Steinhardt, Paul J.; Turok, Neil (2007). Endless Universe: Beyond the Big Bang. Crown/Archetype. p. 129. ISBN 9780385523110. 
  7. ^ Chang, Kenneth (November 1, 2015). "Leo P. Kadanoff, physicist who explored how matter changes, dies at 78". The New York Times. Retrieved February 13, 2018. 
  8. ^ "Martinec, Emil John - Profile - INSPIRE-HEP". inspirehep.net. Retrieved 2018-02-14. 
  9. ^ "Past Fellows". sloan.org. Retrieved 2018-02-14. 
  10. ^ "Award Abstract #number 657788, Presidential Young Investigator Award: Research in String Theory (Physics)". National Science Foundation. July 1, 1987. 
  11. ^ "DOE Outstanding Junior Investigator Awardees" (PDF). U.S. Department of Energy. 2009. p. 6. Retrieved February 14, 2018. 

External links[edit]