Renowned physicist and professor at the Interuniversity Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Thanu Padmanabhan died on Friday after suffering a heart attack at his official residence in Pune.
Pune: Thanu Padmanabhan, a well-known physicist and professor at the Interuniversity Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), died on Friday after a heart attack at his residence in Pune. According to his former colleague, the theoretical physicist was rushed to hospital but died during treatment. The 64-year-old scientist left behind his wife, Dr. Vasanthi Padmanabhan, and his daughter Hamsa.
Padmanabhan was awarded the Padma Shri in 2007 and has written over 300 research articles and many books on gravity, quantum gravity, and the structure and formation of the universe. His research in theoretical physics was ranked the 24th best scientist in the world by Stanford University.
Padmanabhan was born in Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) on March 10, 1957. He completed his graduation and postgraduate studies at Kerala University College with a gold medal.
He joined the Tata Institute for Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mumbai in 1979 and continued to do postdoctoral research at the University of Cambridge, UK. In 1992, he moved to Pune to serve as Dean of IUCAA and has been working here.
Professor Ajit Kembhavi, former director of IUCAA, who has worked with Professor Padmanabhan for the past 30 years, said: “He is a leading physicist, astronomer and scholar. He has written a series of critically acclaimed technical books on different aspects of astrophysical theory and theoretical physics. This is a great loss for the astronomical community. “
“Not only is he my colleague at IUCAA, but we first worked at TIFR in Mumbai before 1989. Then I moved to IUCAA Pune and then joined the institute.
Although we have all worked at the same institute for so many years, we have not done any research together, but our bond as colleagues is very strong, “Kembhavi said.
Kembhavi said that Professor Padmanabhan is a quiet person, dedicated to his work with his team of students, postdocs and colleagues.
“He is busy with researching him in his field and used to publish his works often,” Kembhavi said.
Staff, colleagues and students paid tribute to Professor Padmanabhan on the IUCAA campus and brought him to the crematorium in Aundh for the final ceremony around 2pm.
“This is one of the saddest days in the history of IUCAA, Pune and the current Indian scientific community. Professor Thanu Padmanabhan Padma Shri died of cardiac arrest this morning. Padmanabhan is called Paddy by all of us, and left his wife and Daughter, countless friends, admirers, colleagues, teachers and their immortal heritage in research and textbooks, “said Professor Somak Raychaudhury, Director of IUCAA.