Meet Shrinivas R Kulkarni: The Shaw Prize Winner in Astronomy.

Srinivas R Kulkarni holds the position of Professor of Astronomy and Planetary Science at the California Institute of Technology, where he is affiliated with the divisions of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy.

In a significant announcement, Shrinivas R Kulkarni, a US-based professor of Indian origin, is set to receive the esteemed Shaw Award for his remarkable contributions to the field of astronomy. Kulkarni’s pioneering research on millisecond pulsars, gamma-ray bursts, supernovae, and various other variable or transient astronomical phenomena has earned him this prestigious accolade.

The Shaw Prize, also referred to as the Nobel Prize of the East, is an international award bestowed in three distinct fields: Astronomy, Life Science and Medicine, and Mathematical Sciences. It was established in 2002.

Who is Shrinivas R Kulkarni?

Srinivas R Kulkarni serves as the Professor of Astronomy and Planetary Science in the divisions of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy at the California Institute of Technology. He previously held the position of director at the Caltech Optical Observatory from 2006 to 2018.

Born in the town of Kurundwad in Maharashtra and raised in Hubbali, Karnataka, Kulkarni pursued his MS at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, in 1978. He later obtained his PhD from the University of California, USA. In 1987, Kulkarni became a part of the California Institute of Technology and has remained dedicated to the institute ever since.

Key Discoveries by Shrinivas R Kulkarni

Srinivas R Kulkarni initiated his career as a radio astronomer, focusing on studying the Milky Way Galaxy through HI absorption. He notably observed the four arms of the Milky Way.

Additionally, Srinivas R Kulkarni is credited with discovering the first millisecond pulsar, a magnetized neutron star with a rotation period of less than 10 milliseconds, known as PSR B1937+21.

Furthermore, in collaboration with the NRAO (National Radio Astronomy Observatory) and ISAS (Institute of Space and Astronautical Science), Kulkarni played a key role in identifying soft gamma-ray repeaters as neutron stars.

More recently, Srinivas R Kulkarni has been involved in identifying new categories of optical transients, including superluminous supernovae, calcium novae, and luminous red novae.

Honors Received by Shrinivas R Kulkarni

Throughout his career, Shrinivas R Kulkarni has been the recipient of several notable awards:

  • In 1992, Srinivas R Kulkarni was bestowed with the National Science Foundation’s Alan T. Waterman Award.
  • He was honored with the Helen B. Warner Prize from the American Astronomical Society in 1991.
  • In 2015, Srinivas R Kulkarni received an honorary doctorate from Radboud University in the Netherlands.

Leave a comment