Alexander Markovich Polyakov

Alexander M. Polyakov
Born (1945-09-27) 27 September 1945
Moscow, Soviet Union
Fields Theoretical high energy physics
Institutions Princeton University
Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics
Alma mater Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology
Doctoral advisor Karen Ter-Martirosian
Known for 't Hooft–Polyakov monopole
Quantum field theory
String theory
Polyakov action
Conformal bootstrap
Notable awards Fundamental Physics Prize (2013)
Lars Onsager Prize (2011)
Harvey Prize (2010)
Pomeranchuk Prize (2004)
Oskar Klein Medal (1996)
Lorentz Medal (1994)
Dannie Heineman Prize (1986)
Dirac Medal of the ICTP (1986)

Alexander Markovich Polyakov (Russian: Алекса́ндр Ма́ркович Поляко́в; born 27 September 1945) is a theoretical physicist, formerly at the Landau Institute in Moscow and, since 1990, at Princeton University.[1]

Important discoveries

Polyakov is known for a number of basic contributions to quantum field theory, including work on what is now called the 't Hooft–Polyakov monopole in non-Abelian gauge theory, independent from Gerard 't Hooft. Polyakov and coauthors discovered the so-called BPST instanton which, in turn, led to the discovery of the vacuum angle in QCD.[2][3] His path integral formulation of string theory[4] had profound and lasting impacts on the conceptual and mathematical understanding of the theory. His paper Infinite conformal symmetry in two-dimensional quantum field theory,[5] with Alexander Belavin, and Alexander Zamolodchikov, founded the two-dimensional Conformal Field Theory; it has classic status.[1] He also played an important role in elucidating the conceptual framework behind renormalization independent of Kenneth G. Wilson's Nobel Prize–winning work. He formulated pioneering ideas in gauge/string duality long before the breakthrough of AdS/CFT using D-branes. Other insightful conjectures that came years or even decades before active work by others include integrability of gauge and string theories and certain ideas about turbulence.

Very early in his career, in a 1965 student work, Polyakov suggested (with Alexander Migdal) a dynamical Higgs mechanism, slightly after but independently[6] from the publications of Peter Higgs and others. The paper was delayed by the Editorial Ofiice of JETP, and was published only in 1966.[7]

Honors and awards

Alexander Polyakov was awarded the Dirac Medal of the ICTP and the Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics in 1986, the Lorentz Medal in 1994, the Oskar Klein Medal in 1996, the Harvey Prize in 2010 and the Lars Onsager Prize (together with A. Belavin and A. Zamolodchikov) in 2011. On 20 March 2013, Alexander Polyakov was announced the recipient of 2013 Fundamental Physics Prize.

He was elected to the Soviet Academy of Sciences in 1984[8] and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in 2005.[9][10]

See also


  1. 1 2 "Princeton celebrates Polyakov's 60th". CERN Courier (Mar 1): 2. 2006.
  2. Belavin AA; Polyakov AM; Schwartz AS; Tyupkin YS (1975). "Pseudoparticle solutions of the Yang-Mills equations". Phys. Lett. B. 59 (1): 85–7. Bibcode:1975PhLB...59...85B. doi:10.1016/0370-2693(75)90163-X.
  3. Polyakov AM (1977). "Quark confinement and topology of gauge theories". Nucl. Phys. B. 120 (3): 429–58. Bibcode:1977NuPhB.120..429P. doi:10.1016/0550-3213(77)90086-4.
  4. Polyakov AM (1981). "Quantum geometry of bosonic strings". Phys. Lett. B. 103 (3): 207–10. Bibcode:1981PhLB..103..207P. doi:10.1016/0370-2693(81)90743-7.
  5. Belavin AA; Polyakov AM; Zamolodchikov AB (1984). "Infinite conformal symmetry in two-dimensional quantum field theory". Nucl. Phys. B. 241 (2): 333–80. Bibcode:1984NuPhB.241..333B. doi:10.1016/0550-3213(84)90052-X.
  6. A.M. Polyakov, A View From The Island, 1992
  7. A. A. Migdal and A. M. Polyakov, "Spontaneous Breakdown of Strong Interaction Symmetry and Absence of Massless Particles", Soviet Physics JETP, July 1966
  8. Alexander M. Polyakov. Site of RAS
  9. Polyakov, Alexandre. NAS Section: Physics
  10. Dirac Medalist Elected to NAS. ICTP News. 9/5/2005

External links

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