Physicist Deepak Dhar first Indian to be conferred with Boltzmann Medal

Stalwart Indian physicist and Emeritus Professor at the Department of Physics, IISER, Pune, Prof Deepak Dhar will be conferred the prestigious Boltzmann Medal for his contribution in the field of statistical physics.

The Boltzmann Medal is given every three years by the C3 Commission on Statistical Physics of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) at the Statphys Conference.

The Award, comprising a gilded medal, honours outstanding achievements in statistical physics. The award will be given during Statphys 28 to be held in Tokyo from August 8 to 12.

IISER, Pune announced the award on its Twitter handle and Facebook page late on Thursday evening after Prof Dhar received a letter from the IUPAP. However, the IUPAP website had no mention of the award.

Prof Dhar shares the prize with John Hopfield, an American scientist.

When IANS spoke to Prof Dhar to congratulate him, especially as he is the first Indian to get the prestigious award, thescientist said: “The award was instituted in 1975 or so. We have had people such as Satyendra Nath Bose … one should not ignore the great work that they have done in this field.”

The 1951-born Dhar is known for his research on statistical physics and stochastic processes. He is an elected fellow of all the three major Indian science academies – the Indian Academy of Sciences, the Indian National Science Academy, and the National Academy of Sciences, India – as well as of The World Academy of Sciences.

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has awarded him the ‘Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize’ for Science and Technology for his contributions to physical sciences in 1991.

Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, K VijayRaghavan tweeted: “Professor Dhar is one of the brightest physicists around. He shares the prize with John Hopfield, of whom the same can be said. From Allahabad University, IIT Kanpur, California Univeristy and then TIFR, he has left a great imprint in each place.”

A science graduate from University of Allahabad (1970) and a master’s in physics from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur in 1972, Prof Dhar moved to the US for his doctoral studies.

In 1978, he returned to India to start his long career at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) as a research fellow the same year and over the years, became a full-professor.

Post-retirement, he continues his association with TIFR as a distinguished professor of the institution. He also serves as a distinguished visiting faculty at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune.

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