Abhay Vasant Ashtekar is an Indian theoretical physicist. He is the Eberly Professor of Physics and the Director of the Institute for Gravitational Physics and Geometry at Pennsylvania State University. As the creator of Ashtekar variables, he is one of the founders of loop quantum gravity and its subfield loop quantum cosmology. He has also written a number of descriptions of loop quantum gravity that are accessible to non-physicists. In 1999, Ashtekar and his colleagues were able to calculate the entropy for a black hole, matching a legendary 1974 prediction by Hawking. Oxford mathematical physicist Roger Penrose has described Ashtekar’s approach to quantum gravity as “The most important of all the attempts at ‘quantizing’ general relativity.” Ashtekar was elected as Member to National Academy of Sciences in May 2016.
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