Skip Navigation 
search: This Site | People Opens New Window | Departments Opens New Window | Penn State Opens New Window | Web Opens New Window

Abhay Fest

On the occasion of Abhay Ashtekar's 60th birthday, we gather to celebrate with him as friends and to recognize his outstanding work. He is one of the great intellects of our time, and he has been a compassionate mentor for many students and junior associates. His work and his manner are a source of inspiration.

Abhay was a graduate student of Robert Geroch at the University of Chicago where he was also strongly influenced by Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar. He did postdoctoral work with Roger Penrose at Oxford. During his studies he became acutely interested in the biggest challenge of physics: merging quantum theory with Einstein's general relativity. He developed a new approach based on the dynamics of spin connections. The "Ashtekar variables" are the basis of his "loop quantum gravity," which reconciles the seemingly disparate classical and quantum descriptions of nature. A large community of physicists now use loop quantum gravity to study problems in quantum cosmology and black hole singularities.

Abhay is the Eberly Professor of Physics at Penn State. He held professorships at the University of Paris VI and Syracuse University, where he stayed for over a decade. He came to Penn State in 1993 where he founded the Center for Gravitational Physics and Geometry. This has grown into the Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos, and Abhay serves as its director. He was born July 5, 1949. Semi-popular articles about his work can be found at his website. For a personable biographical sketch of Abhay, please see the article written ten years ago by Apoorva Mandavilli.

Organizing Committee

Martin Bojowald, Jorge Pullin, Paul Sommers, Randi Neshteruk

Back to Top