Plenary Lecture

2024 KPS Spring Meeting   April 23-26, 2024   Daejeon Convention Center

Title: ”Black Hole Thermodynamics: Then and Now”


Edward Witten

The Institute for Advanced Study, School of Natural Sciences, Princeton University



TIME: October 26 (Thu.) 10:30 - 11:18

Room: Convention Hall III



Ed. Witten is a field medalist and the leader of theoretical physics especially in string theory and mathematical physics. He is the most cited Scientist although the size of the community that cites him is tiny comparable to the material science. He has 90 papers which is cited more than 500 times. Without arguments, he is one of the most respected physicists in 21st century. He has been leader of the community last 40 years since 1980. One of the greatest string theorist Joseph Polchinski said that “He is order of magnitude smarter than all the rest of us.”



Ed. Witten attended the University of Michigan for one semester as an economics graduate student before dropping out. He returned to academia, enrolling in applied mathematics at Princeton University in 1973, then shifting departments and receiving a PhD in physics in 1976 and completing a dissertation, "Some problems in the short distance analysis of gauge theories", under the supervision of David Gross. He held a fellowship at Harvard University (1976–77), visited Oxford University (1977–78), was a junior fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows (1977–1980), and held a MacArthur Foundation fellowship (1982).



Witten has been honored with numerous awards including a MacArthur Grant (1982); the Fields Medal (1990); the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement (1997); the Nemmers Prize in Mathematics (2000); the National Medal of Science (2002); Pythagoras Award (2005); the Henri Poincaré Prize (2006); the Crafoord Prize (2008); the Lorentz Medal (2010); the Isaac Newton Medal (2010); and the Fundamental Physics Prize (2012).



• Born August, 1951
• BA Brandeis University, 1971
• MA Princeton University, 1974
• Ph.D. Princeton University, 1976



• Postdoctoral Fellow Harvard University, Sept. 1976 – Aug. 1977
• Junior Fellow, Harvard Society of Fellows, Sept. 1977 – Aug. 1980
• Professor of Physics, Princeton University, Sept. 1980 – Aug. 1987
• Professor, School of Natural Sciences, The Institute for Advanced Study, Sept. 1987 –
• Charles Simonyi Professor, 1997 –
• Visiting Professor, Caltech, Sept. 1999 – June 2001



• MacArthur Fellowship, 1982

• Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1984 Fellow, American Physical Society, 1984

• Einstein Medal, Einstein Society of Berne, Switzerland, 1985

• Award for Physical and Mathematical Sciences, New York Academy of Sciences, 1985 Dirac Medal, International Center for Theoretical Physics, 1985

• Alan T. Waterman Award, National Science Foundation, 1986

• Invited Address, International Congress of Mathematicians, 1986 and 2002 Colloquium Lecturer, American Mathematical Society, 1987

• Fellow National Academy of Sciences, 1988

• Centennial Lecturer, American Mathematical Society, 1988 Honorary Ph.D., Brandeis University, 1988

• Fields Medal, International Union of Mathematicians, 1990 Madison Medal, Princeton University, 1992

• Member of the Board, Americans for Peace Now, Feb. 1992– Honorary Ph.D., The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1993 Fellow, American Philosophical Society, 1994

• New Jersey Pride Award, 1996

• Honorary Ph.D., Columbia University, New York, 1996

• Award of the Golden Plate, American Academy of Achievement, May 1997

• Klein Medal, Stockholm University, March 1998

• Dannie Heineman Prize, American Institute of Physics, April 1998 Foreign Member of the Royal Society, 1998

• Gibbs Lecturer, American Mathematical Society, 1998 Nemmers Prize in Mathematics, Northwestern University, 2000

• Associate Membership of the Academy of Sciences of Paris, April 2000 Clay Research Award, Clay Mathematics Institute, July 2001

• Shalom Award, Americans for Peace Now, December 2002 National Medal of Science, November 2003

• Honorary Ph.D., University of Southern California, May 2004 Honorary Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, May 2005 Honorary Ph.D., Harvard University, May 2005

• Premio Pitagora, Crotone, Italy, November 2005 Harvey Prize, the Technion, Israel, January 2006

• Honorary Doctor of Science, Cambridge University, 2006

• Poincaré Prize, International Association Of Mathematical Physics, 2006 Pontifical Academy, 2006

• Crafoord Prize in Mathematics, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, 2008 Honorary Citizen of Padua, Italy, 2009

• Lorentz Medal, Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences, June 2010 Newton Medal, Institute of Physics, July 2010

• Honorary Ph.D., UNESP, São Paulo, Brazil, February 2011

• Solomon Lefschetz Medal, Mathematical Society of Mexico, October 2011 Fundamental Physics Prize, The Milner Foundation, July 2012

• Fellow, American Mathematical Society, January 2013 Kyoto Prize, Inamori Foundation, November 2014

• Medal for Exceptional Achievement in Research, American Physical Society, 2015 Honorary Fellow, Royal Society of Edinburgh, 2016

• Honorary Doctorate, University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2016 Einstein Medal, World Cultural Council, 2016

• Honorary Member, London Mathematical Society, 2019

• Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2020

• Honorary Doctor of Science, University of Pennsylvania, May 2022



• Author of over 300 scientific papers
• Coauthor (with M.B. Green and J.H. Schwarz) of “Superstring Theory,” Volumes 1 and 2, Cambridge University Press, 1987


This talk is hosted jointly by the Korean Physical Society and Asia Pacific Center for Theoretical Physics(APCTP).