WITTEN, EDWARD / Mathematics / Researchers

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Mathematics / WITTEN, EDWARD



Theoretical physicist,
Professor of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, USA.

Research interests

Witten has almost single-handedly constructed a new branch of mathematical physics. He has remained the leading exponent of string theory and related efforts to unify the four fundamental forces of nature into one mathematical picture.

Witten became well-known for his discovery of new instanton solutions to the Yang-Mills equations and for relating super-symmetric quantum mechanics to Morse theory and index theory. Other highlights of Witten's work include his proof of the positivity of energy in classical relativity, his interpretation of unusual symmetries in physics, including mirror symmetry and SL(2,Z) invariance, his proposals leading to the discovery of new rigidity theorems, and his picture of invariants in low dimensional topology and geometry, including the discovery of the Seiberg-Witten equations and their relation to geometry.

Prizes and awards

1985 : Einstein Medal, Einstein Society of Berne, Switzerland
1985 : Award For Physical and Mathematical Sciences, New York Academy of Sciences
1985 : Dirac Medal, International Center For Theoretical Physics
1986 : Alan T. Waterman Award, National Science Foundation
1990 : Fields Medal, International Union of Mathematicians
1992 : Madison Medal, Princeton University
1996 : New Jersey Pride Award
1997 : Award of the Golden Plate, American Academy of Achievement
1998 : Klein Medal, Stockholm University
1998 : Dannie Heineman Prize, American Institute of Physics
2000 : Nemmers Prize in Mathematics, Northwestern University
2001 : Clay Research Award, Clay Mathematics Institute


Author of 249 scientific papers and coauthor ( with M. B. Green and J. H. Schwarz) of "Superstring Theory" Volumes 1and 2, Cambridge University Press, 1987.

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