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Public Lecture by Prof. Subir Sarkar

Public Lecture by Prof. Subir Sarkar

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Public Lecture by Prof. Subir Sarkar
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Subir Sarkar
Professor of Theoretical Particle Physics and Cosmology
Head, Particle Theory Group, University of Oxford, UK, and
Niels Bohr Professor, Copenhagen University, Denmark


19 DEC 2017, 04:00 PM, Convention Centre


Humankind has always wondered how far the universe extends – whether it is finite or infinite? This remains one of the central questions of modern cosmology but now we can try to answer it through observations rather than just philosophise about it. I will trace the evolution of our ideas about this issue through recorded history, dealing en route with the celebrated Olbers’ “dark sky" paradox for an infinite universe (and its correct resolution), and ending with contemporary studies of the cosmic microwave background – the relic thermal radiation from the Big Bang – which marks the ‘edge of the universe’ we see today.

The Speaker : Subir was educated in India, at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and obtained his PhD (1982) at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bombay, where he was a staff member 1979-84. Subsequently, he has held visiting positions at CERN Geneva, Oxford Astrophysics, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, and also worked in science education and outreach at Eklavya, Bhopal. Since 1990 he has been at Oxford - first as Glasstone Research Fellow, then PPARC Advanced Fellow, appointed University Lecturer (1998) and Professor (2006). He is an Associate of the Discovery Centre and Professor at the Niels Bohr International Academy, both at the Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen where he is building up an Astroparticle Physics Group. He is one of the pioneering theoreticians who also works on experiments that drive research in astrophysics, cosmology, and particle physics. Among other recognitions, he has been awarded the Niels Bohr Professorship (2013) and IUPAP-TIFR Homi Bhabha award (2017).

A warm welcome to the modified and updated website of the Centre for East Asian Studies. The East Asian region has been at the forefront of several path-breaking changes since 1970s beginning with the redefining the development architecture with its State-led development model besides emerging as a major region in the global politics and a key hub of the sophisticated technologies. The Centre is one of the thirteen Centres of the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi that provides a holistic understanding of the region.

Initially, established as a Centre for Chinese and Japanese Studies, it subsequently grew to include Korean Studies as well. At present there are eight faculty members in the Centre. Several distinguished faculty who have now retired include the late Prof. Gargi Dutt, Prof. P.A.N. Murthy, Prof. G.P. Deshpande, Dr. Nranarayan Das, Prof. R.R. Krishnan and Prof. K.V. Kesavan. Besides, Dr. Madhu Bhalla served at the Centre in Chinese Studies Programme during 1994-2006. In addition, Ms. Kamlesh Jain and Dr. M. M. Kunju served the Centre as the Documentation Officers in Chinese and Japanese Studies respectively.

The academic curriculum covers both modern and contemporary facets of East Asia as each scholar specializes in an area of his/her interest in the region. The integrated course involves two semesters of classes at the M. Phil programme and a dissertation for the M. Phil and a thesis for Ph. D programme respectively. The central objective is to impart an interdisciplinary knowledge and understanding of history, foreign policy, government and politics, society and culture and political economy of the respective areas. Students can explore new and emerging themes such as East Asian regionalism, the evolving East Asian Community, the rise of China, resurgence of Japan and the prospects for reunification of the Korean peninsula. Additionally, the Centre lays great emphasis on the building of language skills. The background of scholars includes mostly from the social science disciplines; History, Political Science, Economics, Sociology, International Relations and language.

Several students of the centre have been recipients of prestigious research fellowships awarded by Japan Foundation, Mombusho (Ministry of Education, Government of Japan), Saburo Okita Memorial Fellowship, Nippon Foundation, Korea Foundation, Nehru Memorial Fellowship, and Fellowship from the Chinese and Taiwanese Governments. Besides, students from Japan receive fellowship from the Indian Council of Cultural Relations.