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Ennackal Chandy George Sudarshan (also known as E. C. G. Sudarshan; born 16 September 1931) is an Indian theoretical physicist and a professor at the University of Texas. Sudarshan has been credited with numerous contributions to the field of theoretical Physics including Optical coherence, Sudarshan-Glauber representation, V-A theory, Tachyons, Quantum Zeno effect, Open quantum system, Spin-statistics theorem, non-invariance groups, positive maps of density matrices, quantum computation among others. His contributions include also relations between east and west, philosophy and religion.
George Sudarshan was born in Pallam, Kerala, India. Despite being raised in a Syrian Christian family, he later left the religion in large part due to marrying Lalita, a Hindu and fellow student. They were married from 1954 to 1990 and have three sons, Alexander, Arvind (deceased) and Ashok.He considers himself a “Vedantin Hindu”.He mentions disagreements with the Church’s view on God and lack of spiritual experience as reasons why he left Christianity.
He studied at CMS College Kottayam,and graduated with honors from the Madras Christian College in 1951. He obtained his master’s degree at the University of Madras in 1952. He moved to Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) and worked there for a brief period with Homi Bhabha as well as others. Subsequently, he moved to University of Rochester in New York to work under Robert Marshak as a graduate student. In 1958, he received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Rochester. At this point he moved to Harvard University to join Julian Schwinger as a postdoctoral fellow.
Sudarshan has made significant contributions to several areas of physics. He was the originator (with Robert Marshak) of the V-A theory of the weak force (later propagated by Richard Feynman and Murray Gell-Mann), which eventually paved the way for the electroweak theory. Feynman acknowledged Sudarshan’s contribution in 1963 stating that the V-A theory was discovered by Sudarshan and Marshak and publicized by Gell-Mann and himself.He also developed a quantum representation of coherent light later known as Sudarshan–Glauber representation (for which controversially Glauber was awarded the 2005 Nobel prize in Physics ignoring Sudarshan’s contributions).
Sudarshan’s most significant work might be his contribution to the field of quantum optics. His theorem proves the equivalence of classical wave optics to quantum optics. The theorem makes use of the Sudarshan representation. This representation also predicts optical effects that are purely quantum, and cannot be explained classically. Sudarshan was also the first to propose the existence of tachyons, particles that travel faster than light.He developed formalism called dynamical maps that is one of the most fundamental formalism to study the theory of open quantum system. He, in collaboration with Baidyanath Misra, also proposed the quantum Zeno effect