N MUKUNDA

Indian Academy of Sciences, Bengaluru

N Mukunda started his career as a Fellow in 1967 at TIFR, Bombay and then moved to IISc, Bangalore as Reader in 1969. He served as a Professor at Centre for Theoretical Studies during 1972–2001. His expertise is in Theoretical Particle Physics, Mathematical Physics, Mechanics and Theoretical Optics. He is associated as a Member, Indian Physics Association, Indian Association for General Relativity and Gravitation, Fellow, INSA and National Academy of Sciences. He is the recipient of Eastman Kodak Graduate Award 1962, Bhatnagar Award 1980, Meghnad Saha Award 1985, Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship 1987–89; and Sir M Visvesvaraya State Senior Scientist Award 2003. His contributions to science include Representation theory of Lorentz, Poincare and other non-compact groups, Majorana and other relativistic wave equations, Fourier optics, Hamiltonian theories, Quantum mechanics and optics, Classical dynamical formalism, etc. N Mukunda was elected as Fellow in 1975.

N MUKUNDA

SESSION 1A: Special Lecture

N V Madhusudana

The marvel and the mystery of quantum mechanics – Some reflections View Presentation

The creation of quantum mechanics is one of the most dramatic developments in the physics of the 20th century. After the period 1900–1924, during which the Law of Black Body Radiation, waveparticle duality for light and for matter, the general quantisation of energy and stability of matter and the laws of spectroscopy had begun to be understood, the mathematical structure of quantum mechanics was discovered amazingly rapidly in just under two years, 1925–1927. On the other hand, the physical interpretation and meaning of this structure required an enormous effort, in which the uncertainty and complementarity principles, the Born probability interpretation and rule and the wave function collapse idea, all played important roles. While quantum mechanics has all along been amazingly successful in numerous applications, many puzzling questions about interpretation remain and continue to be pursued till today, though the focus has shifted from wave-particle duality to entanglement and its signatures and consequences. This brief talk will try to give an impressionistic account of these developments, accompanied by comments on the origins of human intuition and the meaning of human understanding of nature.