Prof. Thanu Padmanabhan passed away on Friday. He was an Indian theoretical physicist and cosmologist who was famed for his researches in gravitation, structure formation in the universe and quantum gravity. He recently received the Kerala Sastra Puraskaram, the award set up for honouring eminent scientists from Kerala, by the Kerala Government.
Prof. Thanu Padmanabhan was an esteemed professor at the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, (IUCAA) at Pune, India. He was born and brought up in Thiruvananthapuram, and earned his B.Sc in Physics from Kerala University, in 1979. Padmanabhan has published 10 books in his area of expertise and nearly 300 papers in several international journals.
He has served as the President of the Cosmology commission of the International Astronomical Union- IAU (2009-2012), and as the chairman of the Astrophysics Commission of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics-IUPAP (2011-2014). He has gained popularity outside India for his scientific researches and is an elected fellow of The World Academy of Sciences, Indian National Science Academy, Indian Academy of Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences, India. He had been a visiting faculty at many prestigious institutions like California Institute of Technology, Princeton university and was married to Dr. Vasanthi Padmanabhan who is an astrophysicist graduated from TIFR. They have a daughter, Hamsa Padmanabhan, who is also an astrophysicist with a Ph.D from IUCAA, Pune. Prof. Thanu Padmanabhan died at the age of 64 in his residence in Pune due to a massive heart attack.