Doctors Philosophiae Honoris Causa

Roman Jackiw
(A Brief Biographical Sketch)

Roman Jackiw

Professor Roman Jackiw was born in Lublinec, Poland on 8 November 1939. After graduating from Swarthmore College in 1961, he pursued doctoral studies with Professors Hans Bethe and Kenneth Wilson at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell in 1966.

Professor Jackiw currently occupies the Jerrold Zacharias chair in the Department of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has been since 1969. From 1966 to 1969, he was a Junior Fellow with the Society of Fellows at Harvard University. He has held visiting professorships at Rockefeller University from 1977 to 1978, at the University of California Los Angeles and Santa Barbara in 1980, and at Columbia University from 1989 to 1990.

From 1969 to 1971, Roman Jackiw was honored as an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, and from 1977 to 1978 as a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellow. In 1995 Professor Jackiw received the Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics from the American Physical Society, and in 1998 the Dirac Prize and Medal from the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Italy. He has been awarded honorary doctorates by Turin University, Italy, Uppsala University, Sweden and the Bogolyubov Institute for Theoretical Physics, Ukraine. He belongs to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, to the American Physical Society, to the National Academy of Sciences and is a foreign member of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.

Professor Roman Jackiw has made outstanding contributions both to theoretical and mathematical physics. Some of his principal results triggered the appearance of new trends in quantum field theory. Quantum anomalies, a cancellation of which has become vital for constructing consistent field-theoretical models including famous Standard Model for particle interactions and Superstring Model, were discussed in his (with J. Bell) paper of 1969 in which the long-standing problem of the electromagnetic decay of neutral pions was resolved. In 1974 he elaborated functional methods for the evaluation of the effective action for composite operators in quantum field theory. The topological field models which are now very popular emerged under the direct influence of the works of R. Jackiw. He contributed substantially to the study of topologically nontrivial configurations in various gauge field models, including 4-dimensional Yang-Mills and 3-dimensional nonabelian Chern-Simons theories with matter. For the latter case, R. Jackiw found its connection with 2-dimensional integrable systems. In 1976 he (with C. Rebbi) discovered the effect of fermion number fractionalization and the vacuum periodicity of Yang-Mills fields. In 1988 R. Jackiw and L. D. Faddeev proposed a new efficient approach to constrained quantization, improving the Dirac approach. Other important results of R. Jackiw are relevant for revealing the hidden or dynamical symmetries of diverse physical systems. His most recent papers deal with the contemporary topic of quantum field theory with non-commutative geometry.

For more than a quarter of century Professor Jackiw is closely tied with the Bogolyubov Institute for Theoretical Physics. He visited Institute many times, giving lectures and seminars, his scientific collaboration with the Institute members was fruitful and several common research projects were fulfilled under his guidance.

In addition to an extensive list of scientific publications in theoretical and mathematical physics, focused on particle, condensed matter and gravitational physics, Professor Jackiw is the author of seven books:

  1. Intermediate Quantum Mechanics (with H.A. Bethe), written during his graduate studies, the text has gone through three editions, many printings and in 1997 was reissued as an "advanced book classic"
  2. Lectures on Current Algebra and its Applications (with S. Treiman and D. Gross) 1972
  3. Dynamical Gauge Symmetry Breaking (with E. Farhi) 1982
  4. Shelter Island II (with N. Khuri, S. Weinberg and E. Witten) 1985
  5. Current Algebra and Anomalies (with S. Treiman, B. Zumino and E. Witten) 1985
  6. Diverse Topics in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics, 1995
  7. Fluid Dynamics, 2002