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Encyclopedia > Edward Witten
Edward Witten

Born August 26, 1951 (1951-08-26) (age 56)
Flag of the United States Baltimore, Maryland
Nationality Flag of the United States American
Field Theoretical physicist
Institutions Institute for Advanced Study
Alma mater Brandeis University
Academic advisor   David Gross
Known for string theory, M-theory, quantum field theory
Notable prizes Fields Medal (1990)

Edward Witten (born August 26, 1951) is an American theoretical physicist and professor at the Institute for Advanced Study. He is one of the world's leading researchers in superstring theory. He has made extensive contributions to theoretical physics, and in 1990 he was awarded the Fields Medal for his influence on the development of mathematics. In 1995, he suggested the existence of M-theory at a conference at the University of Southern California, and used M-theory to explain a number of previously observed dualities, sparking a flurry of new research in string theory called the second superstring revolution. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... is the 238th day of the year (239th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1951 (MCMLI) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Baltimore redirects here. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Theoretical physics attempts to understand the world by making a model of reality, used for rationalizing, explaining, predicting physical phenomena through a physical theory. There are three types of theories in physics; mainstream theories, proposed theories and fringe theories. ... Fuld Hall The Institute for Advanced Study, located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States, is one of the world’s leading centers for theoretical research and intellectual inquiry. ... Brandeis University is a private university located in Waltham, Massachusetts, United States. ... David Jonathan Gross (born February 19, 1941 in Washington, D.C.) is an American particle physicist and string theorist (although hes stated to the Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo, on 09/27/2006, that the second area is included in the first one). ... Interaction in the subatomic world: world lines of pointlike particles in the Standard Model or a world sheet swept up by closed strings in string theory String theory is a model of fundamental physics, whose building blocks are one-dimensional extended objects called strings, rather than the zero-dimensional point... M-theory is a solution proposed for the unknown theory of everything which would combine all five superstring theories and 11-dimensional supergravity together. ... Quantum field theory (QFT) is the quantum theory of fields. ... The obverse of the Fields Medal The Fields Medal is a prize awarded to two, three, or four mathematicians not over 40 years of age at each International Congress of the International Mathematical Union, a meeting that takes place every four years. ... is the 238th day of the year (239th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1951 (MCMLI) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Theoretical physics attempts to understand the world by making a model of reality, used for rationalizing, explaining, predicting physical phenomena through a physical theory. There are three types of theories in physics; mainstream theories, proposed theories and fringe theories. ... The meaning of the word professor (Latin: [1]) varies. ... Fuld Hall The Institute for Advanced Study, located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States, is one of the world’s leading centers for theoretical research and intellectual inquiry. ... Superstring theory is an attempt to explain all of the particles and fundamental forces of nature in one theory by modeling them as vibrations of tiny supersymmetric strings. ... Theoretical physics employs mathematical models and abstractions of physics, as opposed to experimental processes, in an attempt to understand nature. ... The obverse of the Fields Medal The Fields Medal is a prize awarded to two, three, or four mathematicians not over 40 years of age at each International Congress of the International Mathematical Union, a meeting that takes place every four years. ... M-theory is a solution proposed for the unknown theory of everything which would combine all five superstring theories and 11-dimensional supergravity together. ... The Trojan Shrine, better known as Tommy Trojan located in the center of University of Southern California campus. ... The second superstring revolution refers to the intense wave of breakthroughs in string theory that took place approximately between 1994 and 1997. ...

Contents

Birth and education

Edward Witten was born in Baltimore, Maryland [1] to a Jewish family, the son of Lorraine W. Witten and Louis Witten, a physicist specializing in gravitation and general relativity. He received his bachelor's degree in history (with a minor in linguistics) from Brandeis University. Witten planned to become a political journalist, and published articles in The New Republic and The Nation. He worked briefly for George McGovern's presidential campaign. Then, he attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison for one semester as an economics graduate student before dropping out. He then returned to academia, enrolling in applied mathematics at Princeton University before shifting departments and receiving a Ph.D. in physics in 1976 under David Gross, the Nobel laureate in Physics in 2004. Baltimore redirects here. ... The word Jew ( Hebrew: יהודי) is used in a wide number of ways, but generally refers to a follower of the Jewish faith, a child of a Jewish mother, or someone of Jewish descent with a connection to Jewish culture or ethnicity and often a combination... Louis Witten is an American theoretical physicist and the father of Edward Witten. ... Not to be confused with physician, a person who practices medicine. ... Gravity is a force of attraction that acts between bodies that have mass. ... For a less technical and generally accessible introduction to the topic, see Introduction to general relativity. ... A bachelors degree is usually an undergraduate academic degree awarded for a course or major that generally lasts for three, four, or in some cases and countries, five or six years. ... Brandeis University is a private university located in Waltham, Massachusetts, United States. ... For other uses, see New Republic. ... The Nation (ISSN 0027-8378) is a weekly [1] U.S. periodical devoted to politics and culture, self-described as the flagship of the left. ... George McGovern on May 8, 1972 cover of Time Magazine George Stanley McGovern, Ph. ... University of Wisconsin redirects here. ... Face-to-face trading interactions on the New York Stock Exchange trading floor. ... Applied mathematics is a branch of mathematics that concerns itself with the mathematical techniques typically used in the application of mathematical knowledge to other domains. ... Princeton University is a private coeducational research university located in Princeton, New Jersey. ... Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. ... David Jonathan Gross (born February 19, 1941 in Washington, D.C.) is an American particle physicist and string theorist (although hes stated to the Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo, on 09/27/2006, that the second area is included in the first one). ... The Nobel Prizes (pronounced no-BELL or no-bell) are awarded annually to people who have done outstanding research, invented groundbreaking techniques or equipment, or made outstanding contributions to society. ... A magnet levitating above a high-temperature superconductor demonstrates the Meissner effect. ...


Academic career

After completing his PhD, he worked at Harvard University as a Junior Fellow and at Princeton as a professor. He was a Professor of Physics at Princeton University from 1980 to 1987. He also was briefly at Caltech for two years from 1999 to 2001. He is currently the Charles Simonyi Professor of Mathematical Physics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. Harvard redirects here. ... Princeton University is a private coeducational research university located in Princeton, New Jersey. ... The California Institute of Technology (commonly referred to as Caltech)[1] is a private, coeducational research university located in Pasadena, California, in the United States. ... Charles Simonyi (Hungarian: Simonyi Károly; born September 10, 1948, Budapest) is a computer software executive who, as head of Microsofts application software group, oversaw the creation of Microsofts flagship office applications. ... Fuld Hall The Institute for Advanced Study, located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States, is one of the world’s leading centers for theoretical research and intellectual inquiry. ... Nassau Street, Princetons main street. ...


Research and achievements

Witten has made extensive contributions to theoretical physics, in work that has spawned a large number of highly mathematical results. He has been active primarily in quantum field theory and string theory, and in related areas of topology and geometry. His many contributions include a simplified proof of the positive energy theorem involving spinors in general relativity, his work relating supersymmetry and Morse theory, his introduction of topological quantum field theory and his related work on mirror symmetry and supersymmetric gauge theories, and his conjecture of the existence of M-theory. Theoretical physics employs mathematical models and abstractions of physics, as opposed to experimental processes, in an attempt to understand nature. ... Quantum field theory (QFT) is the quantum theory of fields. ... Interaction in the subatomic world: world lines of pointlike particles in the Standard Model or a world sheet swept up by closed strings in string theory String theory is a model of fundamental physics, whose building blocks are one-dimensional extended objects called strings, rather than the zero-dimensional point... A Möbius strip, an object with only one surface and one edge; such shapes are an object of study in topology. ... For other uses, see Geometry (disambiguation). ... The positive energy theorem states that, assuming the dominant energy condition, the mass of an asymptotically flat spacetime is non-negative; furthermore, the mass is zero only for Minkowski spacetime. ... In mathematics and physics, in particular in the theory of the orthogonal groups, spinors are certain kinds of mathematical objects (group representations of Spin(N), roughly speaking) similar to vectors, but which change sign under a rotation of radians. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... A Morse function is also an expression for an anharmonic oscillator In differential topology, the techniques of Morse theory give a very direct way of analyzing the topology of a manifold by studying differentiable functions on that manifold. ... A topological quantum field theory (or topological field theory or TQFT) is a quantum field theory which computes topological invariants. ... In physics and mathematics, mirror symmetry is a surprising relation that can exist between two Calabi-Yau manifolds. ... In physics, gauge theories are a class of physical theories based on the idea that symmetry transformations can be performed locally as well as globally. ... M-theory is a solution proposed for the unknown theory of everything which would combine all five superstring theories and 11-dimensional supergravity together. ...


Witten was awarded the Fields Medal by the International Mathematical Union in 1990, becoming the first physicist to win the prize. Sir Michael Atiyah said of Witten, "Although he is definitely a physicist, his command of mathematics is rivaled by few mathematicians... Time and time again he has surprised the mathematical community by his brilliant application of physical insight leading to new and deep mathematical theorems... he has made a profound impact on contemporary mathematics. In his hands physics is once again providing a rich source of inspiration and insight in mathematics."[citation needed] One such example of his impact on pure mathematics is his framework for understanding the Jones polynomial using Chern-Simons theory. This had far reaching implications on low-dimensional topology and led to quantum invariants such as the Witten-Reshetikhin-Turaev invariants. The obverse of the Fields Medal The Fields Medal is a prize awarded to two, three, or four mathematicians not over 40 years of age at each International Congress of the International Mathematical Union, a meeting that takes place every four years. ... Sir Michael Francis Atiyah, OM, FRS (b. ... This article needs cleanup. ... In physics, Chern-Simons theory is a 3-dimensional topological quantum field theory of Schwarz type. ... In mathematics, geometric topology is the study of manifolds and their embeddings, with representative topics being knot theory and braid groups. ... In physics, Chern-Simons theory is a 3-dimensional topological quantum field theory of Schwarz type. ...


Personal life

He is married to Chiara Nappi, who is a professor of physics at Princeton University. His brother, Matt Witten, is a screenwriter and producer for several popular TV series including L.A. Law and House. He is sentimentally attached to the Jewish tradition, in which he was raised, but he doesn't take seriously the truth value of religion. Since 1992, he has been on the board of Americans for Peace Now.[2] To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... Princeton University is a private coeducational research university located in Princeton, New Jersey. ... Mattew Witten (birth date unknown) is the brother of Edward Witten, one of the best string theorists and the founder of M-Theory. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... House, also known as House, M.D., is an American medical drama television series created by David Shore and executive produced by Shore and film director Bryan Singer. ... // Americans for Peace Now (APN) is the sister organization of the Israeli Shalom Achshav (Peace Now) movement. ...


Awards and honors

Witten has been honored with numerous awards, including a MacArthur Grant (1982), a Fields Medal (1990), and the National Medal of Science (2002). Pope Benedict XVI also appointed Witten as a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (2006). He also appeared in the list of TIME magazine's 100 most influential people of 2004. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is a private, independent grantmaking institution. ... The obverse of the Fields Medal The Fields Medal is a prize awarded to two, three, or four mathematicians not over 40 years of age at each International Congress of the International Mathematical Union, a meeting that takes place every four years. ... National Medal of Science The National Medal of Science is an honor given by the President of the United States to individuals in science and engineering who have made important contributions to the advancement of knowledge in the fields of behavioral and social sciences, biology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics and physics. ... Papal Arms of Pope Benedict XVI. The papal tiara was replaced with a bishops mitre, and pallium of the Pope was added beneath the coat of arms. ... The Pontifical Academy of Sciences was founded in 1936 under its current name by Pope Pius XI and is placed under the protection of the reigning Supreme Pontiff (the current Pope). ... “TIME” redirects here. ...


Trivia

  • Witten has the highest h-index of any living physicist.
  • Witten was mentioned in a 1999 episode of the cartoon Futurama.
  • Witten was mentioned in the 2002 Angel episode "Supersymmetry".

In economics, the Herfindahl index is a measure of the size of firms in relationship to the industry and an indicator of the amount of competition among them. ... This article is about the television series. ... For the South Korean TV series of the same name, see Angel (2007 TV series). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

References

  1. ^ http://www.jinfo.org/Fields_Mathematics.html
  2. ^ Edward Witten for Americans for Peace Now

External links

Persondata
NAME Witten, Edward
ALTERNATIVE NAMES
SHORT DESCRIPTION Mathematical physicist
DATE OF BIRTH August 26, 1951
PLACE OF BIRTH Baltimore, Maryland
DATE OF DEATH
PLACE OF DEATH

  Results from FactBites:
 
Edward Witten - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (571 words)
Edward Witten (born August 26, 1951) is an American mathematical physicist, Fields Medalist, and professor at the Institute for Advanced Study.
Edward Witten was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Lorraine W. Witten and Louis Witten, a physicist specializing in gravitation and general relativity.
Witten was mentioned in a 1999 episode of the cartoon Futurama.
NOVA | The Elegant Universe | Edward Witten | PBS (2676 words)
Witten: String theory is an attempt at a deeper description of nature by thinking of an elementary particle not as a little point but as a little loop of vibrating string.
Witten: Even before string theory, especially as physics developed in the 20th century, it turned out that the equations that really work in describing nature with the most generality and the greatest simplicity are very elegant and subtle.
Witten: Back in the early '70s, the Italian physicist, Daniele Amati reportedly said that string theory was part of 21st-century physics that fell by chance into the 20th century.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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