Sumit Das to Deliver 2019-20 A&S Distinguished Professor Lecture on 'Deconstructing Space-Time'

By Jenny Wells

Sumit R. Das, the Jack and Linda Gill Professor in the University of Kentucky Department of Physics and Astronomy, is serving as the 2019-20 UK College of Arts and Sciences’ Distinguished Professor and will deliver the annual Distinguished Professor Lecture next week.

The lecture, titled “Deconstructing Space-Time,” will be held 7-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, on Zoom.

Developments in theoretical physics over the past couple of decades have led to a set of ideas that "space" is not a fundamental notion, but arises as an emergent concept from more abstract entities. This view has led to remarkable progress in reconciling the laws of gravity with the principles of quantum mechanics and has shed valuable light on puzzles related to black holes. This talk will discuss the historical origins of some of these ideas and recent results that have enriched our understanding of the fundamental laws of nature.

Das received his bachelor's and master's degrees in physics from the University of Calcutta and his doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1984. After postdoctoral positions at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratories and California Institute of Technology, he joined the faculty of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai in 1987. In 2002 he moved to the University of Kentucky as a full professor. He served as the department chair from 2013 to 2017. Over the years he has held visiting professor positions in several institutions around the world. His research has meandered through several areas of theoretical physics: the theory of strong interactions, string theory, quantum aspects of black holes and aspects of nonequilibrium phenomena. He has published more than 140 research papers, several chapters in books and two encyclopedia articles. He is a recipient of the S.S. Bhatnagar Award and a fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences.

To register for the lecture, visit

Since 1944, the College of Arts and Sciences has recognized the accomplishments of its faculty in the humanities, social sciences, and natural and mathematical sciences, with the Distinguished Professor Award. The award is the highest professional recognition offered by the college and is bestowed on the basis of three criteria: outstanding research, exceptionally effective teaching and distinguished professional service.

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