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Abhay Ashtekar

Abhay Ashtekar

Main Content

  • Professor of Physics
  • Holder, Eberly Chair
  • Director, Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos

Email: ashtekar [ AT ] gravity [ DOT ] psu [ DOT ] edu
Phone: (814) 863-9601


  1. Ph. D. (Physics) University of Chicago, 1974
  2. Doctor Rerum Naturalium Honoris Causa
  3. - Friedrich-Schiller Universitaet, Jena, Germany, 2005
  4. - Universite de la Mediterranee, Aix-Marseille, France, 2010


Gravitational Physics & Cosmology
  • Theoretical

Honors and Awards

  • First Gravity prize in the annual international competition, awarded by the Gravity Research Foundation, Massachusetts, 1977.
  • Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, 1981-1985.
  • Chancellor's Citation for Academic Excellence, Syracuse University 1987.
  • Elected to the Governing Council of the International Society for General Relativity and Gravitation, 1989-1998.
  • Rufus Putnam Distinguished Visiting Professor, Ohio University, October 1989.
  • Senior Visiting Fellow. British Science and Engineering Research Council, Spring 1991.
  • Distinguished Lectures, Institute for Fundamental Theory, University of Florida, Spring 1992.
  • Wasserstrom Award for Graduate Teaching and Advising, 1992.
  • Distinguished Lectures, Center for Theoretical Physics, University of Maryland, February 1994.
  • 1995 Andrejewski Lectures on Mathematical Physics, Federal Republic of Germany.
  • Elected Honorary Fellow, Indian Academy of Sciences, 1996.
  • Golden Jubilee Visiting Professor, Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, India, August 1997.
  • Distinguished Lecture Series; Mexican Academy of Science, Mexico-US Foundation for Science and UAM, Mexico City, September 1997.
  • Elected Fellow, American Physical Society, 1997.
  • Elected Foreign Fellow, The National Academy of Sciences, India 1997.
  • Chair, Topical Group in Gravitation, of the American Physical Society, 1998.
  • Elected President, American Chapter of the Indian Physics Association (2000-2002).
  • Profile featured in The New York Times Scientists at Work, edited by L. Chang, Foreword by Stephen Jay Gould (McGraw Hill, New York, 2000).
  • Invited Lecture in the symposium "Les Quanta": un Siecle apres Planck" celebrating 100th anniversary of the publication of Planck's paper on black body radiation, at the French Academie des Sciences, Paris 2000.
  • The Centennial Saha Memorial Lecture, Kolkotta, India 2000.
  • Wiegand Lectures, St. Johns College, Santa Fe 2001.
  • Academy Public Lecture, Indian Academy of Science, 2002, 2004.
  • Awarded the senior Forschungspreis by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation 2004.
  • Sir C.V. Raman Chair of the Indian Academy of Sciences (2004-2005).
  • The S. N. Bose Memorial Lecture, Kolkatta, India 2005.
  • The Krammers Chair of Theoretical Physics, University of Utrecht, Spring 2006.
  • Awarded Distinguished Scholar Prize by the American Chapter of Indian Association of Physics, 2007.
  • Elected President, International Society for General Relativity and Gravitation, 2007-2010.
  • Elected Fellow, American Association for Advancement of Science, 2008.
  • Lewiner Distinguished Lecture Series, Technion, Israel 2009.
  • Doctor Rerum Naturalium Honoris Causa, Universite de la Mediterranee, Aix-Marseille, France 2010
  • Ireland Distinguished Lectures, University of New Brunswick, Canada 2010
  • National Academic of Sciences, 2016

Selected Publications

  1. I. Agullo, A. Ashtekar and W. Nelson, An extension of the quantum theory of cosmological perturbations to the Planck era, Physical Review D (at press); arXiv:1211:1354
  2. A. Ashtekar, Introduction to loop quantum gravity, Pos/QGQG2011-001, edited by F. Hellmann et al; arXiv 1201.4598. 
  3. A. Ashtekar and M. Campiglia, On the Uniqueness of Kinematics of Loop Quantum Cosmology, Class. Quantum Grav. 29, 242001 (2012); arXiv: 1209.4373 
  4. I. Agullo, A. Ashtekar and W. Nelson, A Quantum Gravity Extension of the Inflationary Scenario, Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 251301 (2012) ; arXiv: 1209.1609 
  5. A. Ashtekar, Some recent advances in loop quantum cosmology, J. Phys: Conf. Ser. 360, 012001, 1-9 (2012) 
  6. A. Ashtekar, Introduction to loop quantum gravity and cosmology, In; The Proceedings of the Sixth Aegean Summer School, Held at Naxos, Greece, (Ed L. Papantonopoulos, Springer, 2012). 
  7. A Ashtekar, The big bang and the quantum, AIP Conf. Proceedings 1241, 109-121 (2010); arXiv: 1005.5491.
  8. A. Ashtekar, M. Campiglia and A. Henderson, Casting loop quantum cosmology in the spin foam paradigm, Classical and quantum gravity, 27, 135020 (2010); arXiv: 1001.5147.
  9. A. Ashtekar, M. Campiglia and A. Henderson, Path integrals and the WKB approximation in loop quantum cosmology, Physical Review D 82, 124043 1-12 (2010); arXiv:1011.1024.
  10. A. Ashtekar, F. Pretorius and F. Ramazanoglu, Surprises in the evaporation of two dimensional black holes, Physical Review Letters 106, 161303 1-4 (2011); arXiv:1011.6442.

Research Interests

Quantum Gravity:

  • Quantum geometry and its ramifications
  • Black hole entropy
  • Quantum field theory on quantum space-times
  • Quantum cosmology and the very early universe
  • Background independent approach and its relation to low energy physics
  • Potential experimental tests

General Relativity:

  • Mathematical theory of Black holes
  • Isolated horizons and their applications
  • Interface of analytical and numerical relativity
  • Asymptotics
  • Gravitational radiation theory

Other areas:

  • Mathematical aspects of quantum field theory
  • Gauge theories
  • Generalizations of quantum mechanics
  • Geometry and physics