Theoretical Physicist Juan Maldacena Joins Faculty Of Institute For Advanced Study
The Institute for Advanced Study has announced the appointment of Juan M. Maldacena as professor in its School of Natural Sciences.
Maldacena, a theoretical physicist, is known for his work in the branch of physics called string theory, which postulates the existence of one-dimensional, small entities that vibrate at different frequencies to form subatomic particles. String theory aims at a unified explanation of all physical forces.
"We are pleased to have Juan Maldacena as a member of our faculty," said Phillip A. Griffiths, director of the Institute. "He has a deep understanding of many aspects of physics, and is a leading theorist of his generation. He has made key conceptual breakthroughs that have redefined the field for fellow scientists."
Nathan Seiberg, Professor in the School of Natural Sciences, commented, "Juan Maldacena has stunned the physics community with far-reaching and complex ideas that have revolutionized our understanding of gravity, particle physics, and string theory."
Maldacena, who has been Distinguished Visiting Professor in the School of Natural Sciences since September 2000, will be a member of the permanent faculty effective January 1. Maldacena studied physics at the University of Buenos Aires, and the Instituto Balseiro in Bariloche, Argentina. In 1991 he received his master's degree from the Universidad de Cuyo, Bariloche, and, in 1996, his Ph. D. in physics from Princeton University. After being a postdoctoral fellow at Rutgers University, he joined the Harvard University faculty in 1997 as visiting associate professor. In 1999 he was named Cabot Associate Professor, and then Professor of Physics. He spent the spring semester of 1999 as a member at the Institute for Advanced Study.
Maldacena has published numerous papers in professional journals on string theory, quantum gravity, and high-energy theoretical physics. He is also a frequent lecturer at national and international colloquia and conferences.
Recipient of numerous honors, in 1999 he received one of the so-called "genius grants" from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; these grants "enable recipients to exercise their own creative instincts for the benefit of society." In the same year he also received the UNESCO Husein Prize for Young Scientists.
More recently, Maldacena was awarded the 2000 Sackler Prize in Physical Sciences, awarded by Tel-Aviv University to recognize "dedication to science, originality, and excellence" in young scientists, and the 2001 International Xanthopoulos Award for Gravitation and Cosmology, given at the 16th General Relativity Conference, held in Durban, South Africa.
The Institute for Advanced Study is a private, independent center founded in 1930 to support advanced scholarship and fundamental research across a wide range of disciplines. It comprises four Schools: Historical Studies, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Social Science, each with a small permanent faculty of distinguished scholars. In addition, the Institute hosts approximately 180 members each year, from postdoctoral students to senior scholars, who come from more than a hundred institutions worldwide for periods ranging from six months to several years.
More information about the Institute is available at www.ias.edu.