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Biographies


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Nima Arkani-Hamed

Dr. Arkani-Hamed is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Physics at Harvard University, where he joined the faculty in 2002. He holds a B.S. in physics and mathematics from the University of Toronto (1993) and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California at Berkeley (1997). His research is focused on exploring the possibility that there are additional physical principles governing nature, as yet unknown, beyond the standard model of particle physics and general relativity.


Marcia Bartusiak

The first woman to receive the prestigious Science Writing Award from the American Institute of Physics (1982), Ms. Bartusiak is currently a Visiting Professor at the MIT Graduate Program in Science Writing. Ms. Bartusiak is the author of four books on astronomy and physics, and she is now writing an anthology of the major discovery papers in astronomy. She holds a B.S. in communications from American University (1971) and an M.S. in physics from Old Dominion University (1979).


Savas Dimopoulos

A native of Greece, Dr. Dimopoulos earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1978. A year later he joined the physics faculty at Stanford University, where he is Professor of Physics. Dr. Dimopoulos's research focuses on the theoretical, experimental, and cosmological implications of the large dimension paradigm, which links the weakness of gravity to the possible existence of new dimensions. Dr. Dimopoulos`s papers are regularly included in the Physics Top Ten, an evolving list of the most important papers in the field.


Michael Duff

Dr. Duff is the Oskar Klein Professor of Physics at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and the Director of the Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics. His interests lie in the unified theories of the elementary particles, quantum mechanics, supergravity, Kaluza/Klein theory, superstrings, supermembranes, and M-theory. Dr. Duff earned a B.S. in Physics from Queen Mary College at the University of London and a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of London's Imperial College in 1972.


Edward Farhi

Dr. Edward Farhi is a Professor of Physics at MIT, where he works on the theory of quantum computation, which uses quantum physics to create computing algorithms that can solve problems too complex for conventional computers. He teaches both undergraduates and graduate students at MIT and has won three consecutive teaching awards for his classes, in 2000, 2001, and 2002. Dr. Farhi is a graduate of Brandeis University (A.B., 1973) and Harvard (Ph.D., 1978).


Peter Galison

Dr. Galison is the Mallinckrodt Professor of the History of Science and of Physics at Harvard University, where he has taught since 1992. The author and editor of many award-winning books on a range of topics, from architecture, to photography, to intellectual property and the history of aviation, Dr. Galison published Einstein's Clocks, Poincaré's Maps: Empires of Time, his most recent book, in 2003. Dr. Galison holds degrees from Harvard University (A.B., 1975, M.A., 1977, Ph.D., 1983) and Cambridge University (M. Phil, 1979).


S. James Gates, Jr.

Dr. Gates, an expert on supersymmetric particles, graduated from MIT, where in 1973 he earned two B.S. degrees, one in physics and one in math, and a Ph.D. in physics in 1977. In 2002, after more than two decades teaching physics and conducting research at various institutions, including MIT, Howard University, Caltech, and Harvard, Dr. Gates was named John S. Toll Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland at College Park. This appointment made him the first African-American physicist to hold an endowed chair at a university in the U.S.


Sheldon Lee Glashow

Dr. Glashow's many important contributions to theoretical physics include his work on the unified theory of weak and electromagnetic interactions, for which he won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1979. He is currently the Arthur G.B. Metcalf Professor of Physics and a University Professor at Boston University. Dr. Glashow was educated at Cornell University (A.B., 1954) and Harvard University (A.M., 1955, Ph.D., 1959). In addition to his research and pedagogical interests in particle theory, cosmology, and classical mechanics, Dr. Glashow focuses on stimulating interest in science among high school students and university students of the humanities.


Michael B. Green

Dr. Green is the John Humphrey Plummer Professor in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge. He received his B.A. in physics in 1967 from Cambridge and remained at Cambridge to complete his doctoral work in 1970. Since becoming involved with early work on string theory in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when he was involved in some of the most important initial work in the field, Dr. Green has been working to unravel the underlying geometrical structure of string theory.


Brian Greene

Brian Greene, the host of NOVA's miniseries "The Elegant Universe," is the author of the best-selling book on which the program is based. He is a graduate of Harvard (A.B., 1984) and the University of Oxford (Ph.D., 1987), where he was a Rhodes Scholar. Dr. Greene is a professor in both the physics and mathematics departments at Columbia University in his native New York City. He is also co-director of Columbia's new Institute for Strings, Cosmology, and Astroparticle Physics (ISCAP). Besides being known as one of theoretical physics most brilliant communicators of science to general audiences, Greene has contributed a number of important discoveries to the field of string theory.


David Gross

A native of Washington, D.C., Dr. Gross earned his undergraduate degree in physics at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1962 and his Ph.D. at UC Berkeley in 1966. Since 1997, Gross has directed the Institute for Theoretical Physics at UC Santa Barbara (now called the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics), where he is also the Frederick W. Gluck Chair in Theoretical Physics. Dr. Gross played a major role in the development of string theory in the 1980s. His specialty in the field is quantum chromodynamics, the theory of strong interactions. In 2004, Gross shared the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in quantum chromodynamics.


Alan Guth

Dr. Guth is Victor F. Weisskopf Professor of Physics at MIT, where he earned his B.S. and Ph.D. in 1968 and 1971, respectively. He is the inventor, in 1980, of a modification of the big bang theory called the inflationary universe, which explains many of the otherwise mysterious features of the observed universe and offers a possible explanation for the origin of all the universe's matter and energy from the beginning of time. Today, Dr. Guth's research is still centered on the consequences of his inflationary theory. He is also exploring such questions as whether the laws of physics allow the creation of a new universe in a laboratory.


Gary Horowitz

Dr. Horowitz has been a full professor since 1990 in the Physics department at UC Santa Barbara, where he has co-authored many frequently cited papers in his field. He received his B.A. in physics from Princeton University in 1976 and did his doctoral work in physics at the University of Chicago, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1979. Dr. Horowitz's research interests are in gravitational aspects of string theory. This includes black holes in extra spatial dimensions, quantum aspects of black holes, and the effects of string theory in the extreme gravitational fields near the big bang and inside black holes.


Walter H.G. Lewin

A native of The Netherlands, Dr. Lewin received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Delft in 1965. In 1996, he arrived at MIT to begin a position as a postdoctoral associate, and he has been teaching physics and conducting research at MIT ever since. He is well known among MIT students for his dynamic lectures on Newtonian mechanics and electricity and magnetism. Among his colleagues, Dr. Lewin is best known for his scientific investigations in astrophysics, including satellite and high-altitude balloon X-ray observations, worldwide coordinated observations of optical bursts and X-ray bursts, and international collaborations observing X-ray fluxes and X-ray sources.


Joseph Lykken

Joseph Lykken is a theoretical particle physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Illinois, and a professor in the Physics Department and Enrico Fermi Institute at the University of Chicago. Since joining Fermilab in 1989, Lykken has focused on experimental searches for supersymmetry, the Higgs boson, and extra dimensions. Lykken graduated from the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis (B.A., physics, 1977) and earned his Ph.D. in physics at MIT in 1982.


Burt Ovrut

Dr. Ovrut is a professor of physics at the Unversity of Pennsylvania, where he works on string theory and its applications to particle physics phenomenology and cosmology. He recently contributed two important ideas to the field, the theory of brane worlds and a new theory of the early universe called ekpyrotic cosmology. Dr. Ovrut earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Chicago in 1978.


Amanda Peet

New Zealander Amanda Peet is a Professor of Physics at the University of Toronto and a scholar in the Cosmology and Gravity Program at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. The focus of her research is the connection of string theory to the cosmology of the early universe. Dr. Peet holds degrees from New Zealand's University of Canterbury (B.S., 1990) and Stanford University (Ph.D., 1994).


Joseph Polchinski

Dr. Polchinski is a professor of physics at UC Santa Barbara and the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at UC Santa Barbara. He received his B.S. in physics in 1975 from Caltech and his Ph.D. in 1980 from UC Berkeley. Dr. Polchinski's primary research interests are particle theory, string theory, and cosmology. He is the author of a recent two-volume introduction to the topic of string theory.


John H. Schwarz

John H. Schwarz, an expert in theoretical particle physics, is the Harold Brown Professor of Theoretical Physics at Caltech. He completed his undergraduate studies at Harvard in 1962 and earned his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 1966. Dr. Schwarz has worked on string theory for most of his career. In 1984, he co-wrote a landmark paper, based on 12 years of research, that suggested a mathematical theory, one that he called superstring theory, which included 10 spatial dimensions instead of the usual three.


Nathan Seiberg

Nathan Seiberg is a professor of mathematical physics at the Institute for Advanced Study. His work focuses on various aspects of string theory, field theory, and particle physics. Dr. Seiberg received his B.S. in 1977 from Tel Aviv University and his Ph.D. in physics from Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science in 1982. During recent years, he has found, with collaborators, exact solutions of supersymmetric quantum field theories and string theories, which have yielded numerous new insights into major scientific and mathematical problems.


Maria Spiropulu

A native of Greece, Maria Spiropulu is an Enrico Fermi Fellow at the University of Chicago's Enrico Fermi Institute. She earned her Ph.D. in physics in 2000 from Harvard. Dr. Spiropulu's research is focused on supersymmetry and extra dimensions. At the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), Dr. Spiropulu uses a tool called the Collider Detector to analyze the debris of high-energy particle collisions, which could show signs of extra dimensions and supersymmetric particles.


Paul Steinhardt

Dr. Steinhardt is the Albert Einstein Professor in Science and Professor of Physics at Princeton University. He received his B.S. in physics at Caltech in 1974 and his Ph.D. in Physics from Harvard in 1978. Dr. Steinhardt's research spans particle physics, astrophysics, cosmology, and condensed-matter physics. He is best known for his work on the first inflationary models for the universe, the discovery that inflation can seed galaxy formation, and to new observational tests.


Leonard Susskind

Dr. Susskind has been a professor at Stanford University since 1979. His current title at Stanford, where he also directs the Stanford Institute of Theoretical Physics, is Felix Bloch Professor of Physics. In 1969, Dr. Susskind, providing the basis for string theory, was the first to link the reason that quarks never appear in isolation to a force that he described as a string. He was educated in physics at the City College of New York (B.S., 1962) and Cornell University (Ph.D., 1965). Dr. Susskind's research interests include the structure of hadrons, instantons, quark confinement, and quantum cosmology.


Cumrun Vafa

Dr. Vafa is a Professor of Physics at Harvard. He studies questions fundamental to theoretical high-energy physics, such as the nature of quantum gravity and the relationship between geometry and quantum field theories. Born in Tehran, Iran, Dr. Vafa came to the U.S. in 1977 to attend MIT, where he earned a B.S. in mathematics and physics in 1981. He received a Ph.D. in physics from Princeton in 1985. He is best known for his pioneering work on one of the major scientific puzzles of the last two decades, the entropy of black holes.


Gabriele Veneziano

Italian physicist Gabriele Veneziano is best known for his pioneering 1968 description of the strong force, in which fundamental particles behave like tiny vibrating strings instead of points of matter. Veneziano's articulation of strings as a new category of particle gave rise to string theory as we know it today. Dr. Veneziano received his Ph.D. in 1968 from Israel's Weizmann Institute. Since 1997, he has been a Senior Staff Member at CERN, the world's largest particle physics laboratory, located in Geneva. His primary research interest is string cosmology.


Steven Weinberg

Dr. Steven Weinberg holds the Josey Regental Chair of Science at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is a member of both the Physics and Astronomy departments. His research interests span a range of topics in quantum field theory, elementary particle physics, and cosmology. In 1979, Dr. Weinberg shared the Nobel Prize in physics, an honor he received for his contributions to the unified theory of weak and electromagnetic interactions. In addition to his scholarly publications, Dr. Weinberg has authored several books for general readers, including The First Three Minutes, his award-winning account of the story of the universe, which has been translated into 22 languages.


Edward Witten

Dr. Witten is the Charles Simonyi Professor of Mathematical Physics at Princeton University's Institute for Advanced Study. The author of more than 200 scientific papers, most of them on string theory, Witten is ranked among the world's principal theoretical physicists. His research on strings has yielded numerous major theories in the field, including M-theory, which combines the five separate string theories into one master equation. Witten earned his B.A. in physics in 1971 from Brandeis University and did his doctoral work at Princeton, where in 1976 he received a Ph.D. in physics.

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