Renowned Malayali scientist Prof Thanu Padmanabhan passes away
Pune: Renowned physicist and Keralite Prof Thanu Padmanabhan passed away. He was 64. He is a Padma Shri winner.
He suffered heart attack and collapsed at his residence in Pune. Though he was rushed to hospital, his life could not be saved.
Hailing from Thiruvananthapuram, Thanu Padmanabhan was a theoretical physicist and cosmologist. He was a Distinguished Professor at the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, (IUCAA) at Pune.
He was recently selected for the Kerala Sastra Puraskaram, instituted by the Government of Kerala. The award is set up to honour distinguished scientists of Kerala origin.
Gravitation, structure formation in the universe and quantum gravity are his major fields of research.
Thanu Padmanabhan was born on 10 March 1957 in Thiruvananthapuram to Thanu Iyer and Lakshmi. His father had a taste for mathematics but had to abandon his studies to look after the family. Due to this background, Padmanabhan was very well versed in mathematics and was eager to learn more on the subject.
He completed primary education at Karamana High School. It was here he first showed his interest in geometry, which later made him brilliant. He joined the Government Arts College for pre-degree. He did his UG and PG in Physics from the University College, Thiruvananthapuram. It was during this period he switched focus from mathematics into advanced physics.
Due to his interest in the subject, he started acquiring knowledge for anything related to gravity. The mastery in General Relativity (GR) helped him to publish his first technical paper on the topic in 1977, while he was a BSc student. Later, he joined the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) for his PhD in Quantum Cosmology.
Thanu Padmanabhan is survived by wife Dr Vasanthi Padmanabhan and daughter Hamsa Padmanabhan.