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Edward Witten

Born: 26-Aug-1951
Birthplace: Baltimore, MD

Gender: Male
Religion: Jewish
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Physicist
Party Affiliation: Democratic

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: String theorist at Princeton

Edward Witten is one of the leading proponents of string theory, the idea that nature's basic building blocks are unimaginably tiny loops and snippets that resemble strings. In mathematics, he simplified proof of the positive mass conjecture, and he is commonly described as brilliant for his work in particle physics, quantum chromodynamics, and superstring theory. His 1985 lecture at the University of Southern California helped revitalize interest in string theory, as he proposed that competing descriptions of string theory were instead merely different perspectives of a fundamental unifying theory of nature.

His father, Louis Witten, was also a noted physicist, specializing in gravitational and electrovacuum theory. The younger Witten studied at Princeton under Nobel laureate David J. Gross, and his wife is also a respected physicist. His brother is a producer for the TV series House.

Father: Louis Witten (physicist, b. 1921)
Mother: Lorraine Wollach Witten (m. 1949, d. 1987)
Sister: Celia Witten (physician)
Brother: Matthew Witten (TV producer)
Brother: Jesse Whitten
Mother: Francis Lydia DeLange Witten (stepmother)
Wife: Chiara Nappi (physicist)

    University: BA History, Brandeis University (1971)
    University: MA Physics, Princeton University (1974)
    University: PhD Physics, Princeton University (1976)
    Scholar: Physics, Harvard University (1976-80)
    Professor: Physics, Princeton University (1980-87)
    Professor: Mathmatical Physics, Princeton University (1987-)
    Professor: Physics, California Institute of Technology (1999-2001)

    MacArthur Fellowship 1982
    Albert Einstein Medal 1985
    National Medal of Science 2003
    Lorentz Medal 2010
    America Coming Together
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    American Philosophical Society
    American Physical Society
    Institute for Advanced Study
    John Kerry for President
    Kerry Victory 2004
    National Academy of Sciences 1988
    National Science Foundation
    Obama for America
    Obama Victory Fund 2012
    Pontifical Academy of Sciences

Official Website:

Author of books:
Current Algebra and Anomalies (1985, with Sam B. Treiman and Bruno Zumino)
Superstring Theory (1987, with Michael B. Green and John H. Schwarz)

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