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Ashtekar to Speak on Advances in Relativity Research and His New Book at Penn State Bookstore on 28 February 2006

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Abhay Ashtekar, Holder of the Eberly Family Chair in Physics and director of the Penn State Institute for Gravitational Physics and Geometry, will give a public presentation at 12:00 noon on Tuesday, 28 February 2006, at the Penn State Bookstore on the University Park campus. He will discuss research advances in the study of gravitational physics since the publication of Einstein's seminal papers in 1905. This talk will introduce a book he edited, 100 Years of Relativity, Space-Time Structure: Einstein and Beyond , recently published by World Scientific Publishing Company, Inc. The book features contributions from leading researchers worldwide and will be of interest to anyone interested in physics and science. Ashtekar also will be available to sign books after his talk.

Ashtekar is recognized for the breadth of his research in gravitational theory, including quantum gravity and generalizations of quantum mechanics, as well as classical general relativity, the mathematical theory of black holes, and gravitational waves. He has contributed substantially to the analysis of the gravitational fields of isolated gravitating systems at large distances from their sources. His work on the canonical quantization of gravitation, which is based upon a reformulation of Einstein's field equations that Ashtekar presented in 1986, has proved to be a fruitful approach to understanding quantum gravity. His non-perturbative treatment of gravitational interaction has become a central topic in string theory.

Ashtekar has been the founding director of the Institute for Gravitational Physics and Geometry since 1993. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a Foreign Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences in India, and an Honorary Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences. He has been chief editor for physics for the journal Advances in Mathematical and Theoretical Physics since 1997, and a managing editor for the International Journal of Modern Physics-D since 1992.

Prior to joining the faculty at Penn State, Ashtekar held positions as professor, distinguished professor, and the Erastus Franklin Holden Professor of Physics at Syracuse University from 1984 to 1993. Prior to that, he was professor and chair of gravitation at the University of Paris VI in France. He earned his doctoral degree in physics at the University of Chicago in 1974 and his bachelor's degree with honors in physics and mathematics at the University of Bombay, India, in 1969.

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