Developments in theoretical physics over the past couple of decades has led to a set of ideas that "space" is not a fundamental notion, but arises as an emergent concept from more abstract entities. This view has led to remarkable progress in reconciling the laws of gravity with the principles of quantum mechanics and has shed valuable light on puzzles related to black holes. This talk will discuss the historical origins of some of these ideas and recent results which have enriched our understanding of the fundamental laws of nature.
Sumit Ranjan Das received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Physics from the University of Calcutta, and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1984. After postdoctoral positions at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratories and California Institute of Technology, he joined the faculty of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai in 1987. In 2002 he moved to the University of Kentucky as a Full Professor. He served as the department chair from 2013 to 2017. Over the years he has held Visiting Professor positions in several institutions around the world.
His research has meandered through several areas of theoretical physics: the theory of Strong Interactions, String Theory, Quantum Aspects of black holes and aspects of non-equilibrium phenomena. He has published more than 140 research papers, several chapters in books and two encyclopedia articles. He is a recipient of S.S. Bhatnagar Award and a Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences.