23 November 2017

Suvrat Raju of ICTS-TIFR Bangalore is among twelve early career researchers to receive this prestigious five-year fellowship, awarded by Department of Science and Technology (DST), India.

Suvrat Raju, Associate Professor of Physics at the International Centre for Theoretical Sciences - TIFR, Bangalore, has been awarded the prestigious Swarnajayanti Fellowship of DST. 
Dr. Raju is an expert on String theory.

The Swarnajayanti Fellowships was instituted to commemorate India's fiftieth year of Independence. Under this fellowship a selected number of young scientists of age less than 40, with proven track record, are provided special assistance and support to enable them to pursue innovative research idea which can have a huge impact in the respective research discipline.

The support will include a fellowship of INR 25,000/- per month for five years. The fellowship will be provided in addition to the salary drawn by the awardee from the parent institution. In addition to the fellowship, grants for equipment, computational facilities, contingencies, national and international travel will also be covered.  

“In the past, many outstanding scholars have held the Swarnajayanti fellowship and I feel very honored to have been selected to be part of this group. I feel that this is a very exciting time for this field, which lies at the cusp of black hole physics and quantum information, and the DST has recognized these possibilities through this award. I hope that over the next five years, with the string group at ICTS, we can do a lot of interesting physics to realize this promise,” said Dr. Raju.

Dr. Raju did his PhD at Harvard University, USA in 2008. He was a postdoctoral fellow and then a Ramanujan fellow at the Harish-Chandra Research Institute (Allahabad) before joining ICTS-TIFR in 2012.

The Swarnajayanti fellowship was awarded for Dr. Raju’s proposal to understand a deep puzzle in quantum gravity, called the "information paradox". This paradox originates in a calculation that Stephen Hawking performed more than 40 years ago where he showed that quantum fluctuations near a black hole cause the black hole to emit radiation called "Hawking radiation." The surprising aspect of Hawking's result was that this radiation was almost entirely featureless - two black holes of the same mass, even if they differed in their constitution, would emit the same radiation! This conclusion is inconsistent with a fundamental principle of physics, which states that time-evolution of systems must be reversible, and this contradiction is called the information paradox.

In recent work, with several collaborators, Dr. Raju has shown, by using modern techniques from string theory, that small nonlocal effects are important in the interior of a black holes. These nonlocal effects would lead to subtle corrections to Hawking radiation and Dr. Raju's work has shown that these corrections can, in principle, resolve the information paradox. These nonlocal effects are likely to be of fundamental importance in a theory of quantum gravity.

Dr. Raju joins 11 other 2017 Swarnajayanti fellows. Their research interests range from nano-materials, cancer biology, number theory, earth sciences to black holes.

“I am very proud, on behalf of ICTS, at this recognition for Suvrat with this prestigious fellowship,” said Rajesh Gopakumar, the Director of ICTS-TIFR. “Suvrat and his collaborators have had novel insights which have greatly sharpened the debate around the information paradox. I am sure his research in coming years, supported by the Swarnajayanti, will break new ground in this topic.” 

More information is available here, including a full list of 2017 Swarnajayanti fellowship awardees. 

ICTS is a unique initiative in Indian science, which has a threefold mandate. Apart from creating an in-house research program of international quality in theoretical sciences, it aspires to become a hub that connects the Indian scientific community with the international community through its programs, thus bringing together scientists to solve some of the outstanding problems posed by nature. ICTS also actively engages with civic society in spreading awareness of exciting scientific developments and fostering the scientific temper. More information available on the ICTS webpage.


Media contact
Anupam Ghosh
Outreach Coordinator
International Centre for Theoretical Sciences
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
Survey No. 151, Shivakote, Hesaraghatta Hobli
Bangalore North 560089, India
Tel. 95917 32794 / 080 6730 6054 / 080 4653 6054