Pierre Ramond

Pierre Ramond
Born January 31, 1943 (1943-01-31) (age 73)
Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, France
Fields Physics
Institutions University of Florida
Alma mater Syracuse University
Doctoral advisor A. P. Balachandran

Pierre Ramond (French: [ʁamɔ̃]; born 31 January 1943) is Distinguished Professor of Physics at University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida.[1] He played an important role in the development of superstring theory.

Academic career

Ramond completed his BSEE from Newark College of Engineering (now New Jersey Institute of Technology) in 1965 and completed his Ph. D. in Physics from Syracuse University in 1969. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at NAL (FermiLab) from 1969 to 1971. He became Instructor at Yale University from 1971 to 1973 and Assistant Professor at Yale University from 1973 to 1976. He moved to Caltech as an R. A. Millikan Senior Fellow in 1976. He became a Professor of Physics at University of Florida in 1980, and promoted to his present title of "Distinguished Professor" in 1999.

Superstring theory

Ramond played a major role in the development of superstring theory. In 1971, Ramond generalized Dirac's work for point-like particles to stringlike ones. In this process he discovered two-dimensional supersymmetry and laid the ground for supersymmetry in four spacetime dimensions. He found the spectrum of fermionic modes in string theory and the paper started superstring theory. From this paper André Neveu and John Schwarz developed a string theory with both fermions and bosons.[2]

According to quantum mechanics, particles can be divided into two types: bosons and fermions. The distinction between bosons and fermions is basic. Fermions are particles which have half integer spin (1/2, 3/2, 5/2 and so on), measured in units of Planck's constant and bosons are particles which have integer spin (0, 1, 2 and so on), measured in units of Planck's constant. Examples of fermions are quarks, leptons and baryons. Quantum of fundamental forces such as gravitons, photons, etc. are all bosons. In quantum field theory, fermions interact by exchanging bosons.

Early string theory proposed by Yoichiro Nambu and others in 1970 was only a bosonic string. Ramond completed the theory by inventing a fermionic string to accompany the bosonic ones. The Virasoro algebra which is the symmetry algebra of the bosonic string was generalized to a superconformal algebra (the Ramond algebra, an example of a super Virasoro algebra) including anticommuting operators also.

Honors and awards

Ramond has received several awards for his contributions to theoretical physics. He is an elected fellow of American Physical Society, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a winner of the Oskar Klein Medal awarded by the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences & Stockholm University in 2004, and he won the Lise Meitner Prize in December 2007. In 2015 he received the prestigious Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics.

In addition, Ramond has played an active role in service to his profession as a scientist and educator. He served as the Chair of the Faculty Senate of the University of Florida in 2004-05, and as the chair of the Division of Particles and Fields of the American Physical Society in 2012.


See also


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