World famous physicist Prof Thanu Padmanabhan passed away on Friday. He was 64. He was a native of Thiruvananthapuram. He collapsed at his house in Pune following heart attack. Although he was rushed to the hospital, his life could not be saved. He was the Dean of the Academic Department at the Pune Inter University Centre for Atronomy and Astrophysics. He served as a distinguished professor there. The Kerala Science Award, the highest scientific award of the state government was conferred on Prof. Padmanabhan this year.
Padmanabhan’s most important contribution was the further development of the general theory of relativity based on thermodynamics in emergent gravity. Thanu Padmanabhan was born in 1957 in Thiruvananthapuram. He holds BSc (1977) and MSc (1979) degrees from the University College, Kerala with a gold medal. The first research paper was published at the age of 20 while studying for BSc. The subject was general relativity.
He got PhD in 1983 from TIFR in Mumbai. He has been at the Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics in Pune since 1992. He had served as a visiting professor at the University of Newcastle, Imperial College London, Caltech, Princeton and Cambridge Universities, a renowned particle physics research centre in Switzerland.
He leaves behind his wife Dr Vasanthi Padmanabhan and daughter Hamsa Padmanabhan.