Physicist and cosmologist Thanu Padmanabhan, whose research spans a wide variety of topics in gravitation, structure formation in the universe and quantum gravity, received the prestigious MP Birla Memorial Award 2019 for his contributions to the world of cosmology on Sunday.
Internationally hailed for his contributions related to the analysis and modelling of dark energy in the universe and interpretation of gravity as an emergent phenomenon, the 62-year-old professor of Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics in Pune, received the award at a programme held at the MP Birla Planetarium on Sunday afternoon.
In his memorial lecture, ‘Gravity and the Cosmos’, the Padma Shri recipient scientist spoke about the role gravity has played in shaping the universe and dwelt on open questions about the universe, “which have not yet been fully resolved”. “When we look at the sun we are visualizing its past form as the light takes eight minutes to reach the earth, similarly whatever stars we look at we are seeing at its past form,” he explained to the 400-odd students and professors in the audience.
The award was introduced in 1993 to recognise the excellence in research in astronomy, astrophysics, space science and related areas. Previous recipients of the award include former president APJ Abdul Kalam and a host of noted physicists like GM Nair, KD Abhayankar, Govind Swarup and JV Narlikar.
On Chandrayaan, he said: “It’s a stepping stone for success. No good experiment can succeed in the first go. The mission has put us in the right trajectory and I am sure we will succeed the next time.”
Source: Times of India