Henry Tye

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Sze-Hoi Henry Tye
Born 1947
Shanghai, China
Residence United States
Fields String Theory / Cosmology
Institutions Cornell, HKUST
Alma mater MIT, Caltech
Doctoral advisor Francis E. Low
Known for Brane Inflation, Cosmic Inflation, Cosmic Superstrings

Sze-Hoi Henry Tye (Chinese: 戴自海; born 1947 in Shanghai, China) is a Chinese-American cosmologist and theoretical physicist most notable for proposing that a brane and an antibrane attraction and annihilation with one another, causes cosmic inflation and his work on superstring theory, brane cosmology and elementary particle physics. He had his primary and secondary school education in Hong Kong. Graduated from La Salle College. He received his B.S. from the California Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under Francis Low. He is currently the Horace White Professor of Physics at Cornell University and a fellow of the American Physical Society.[1] He has also recently become the director of the Institute for Advanced Study within the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.[2]

Together with Gia Dvali, he suggested the idea of brane inflation in 1998 which was later put on concrete string theoretic grounds by Shamit Kachru and collaborators. He went on to work out many details of brane inflation with his research group at Cornell. He was responsible for the revival of the interest in cosmic strings. Cosmic superstrings are produced at the end of brane inflation due to brane-antibrane annihilation. Apart from the details of brane inflation, he has been working on issues related to the string landscape and quantum cosmology with his collaborators.

Alan Guth, in his book The Inflationary Universe, tells the story of how he was led to think about issues that resulted in the original idea of cosmic inflation due to the influence of Henry Tye.[3] At that time they were both postdocs at Cornell University. Tye went to China for six weeks in 1979 during the time that Guth came up with his historic inflation breakthrough. "Had he not gone to China, Henry surely would have been a coauthor on the first inflation paper," Guth said.[4]

Earlier on in his career Tye was involved with many important ideas such as the construction of fermionic string models with Kawai and Lewellen (Kawai-Lewellen-Tye), fractional superstrings, grand unified string models, brane world.

Tye was appointed the Director of Institute of Advanced Study, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, in 2011. Prior to this he was the Horace White Professor of Physics at Cornell University.

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Bik Kwoon Yeung, a professor of molecular biology at Cornell University and currently visiting professor at HKUST.


  1. ^ "Henry S.-H. Tye". Cornell University. Archived from the original on 2006-10-25. Retrieved 2006-11-24. 
  2. ^ "Tye Appointed head of IAS". 
  3. ^ Guth, Alan H. (1997). The Inflationary Universe. Reading, Massachusetts: Perseus Books. ISBN 0-201-14942-7. 
  4. ^ Steve Nadis. "The most important cosmologist you've never heard of." Astronomy. October 2006, pp. 64-69.

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