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Jorge Pullin

Jorge Pullin

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Jorge Pullin is the Horace Hearne Chair
Horace Hearne Institute
The Horace Hearne Jr. Institute for Theoretical Physics is at Louisiana State University. The Hearne Institute is funded by a donation of two endowed chairs by Horace Hearne Jr. and the State of Louisiana, as well as additional grants from a variety of national and international granting agencies....

 in theoretical Physics at the Louisiana State University
Louisiana State University
Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, most often referred to as Louisiana State University, or LSU, is a public coeducational university located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The University was founded in 1853 in what is now known as Pineville, Louisiana, under the name...

, known for his work on black hole
Black hole
A black hole is a region of spacetime from which nothing, not even light, can escape. The theory of general relativity predicts that a sufficiently compact mass will deform spacetime to form a black hole. Around a black hole there is a mathematically defined surface called an event horizon that...

 collisions and quantum gravity
Quantum gravity
Quantum gravity is the field of theoretical physics which attempts to develop scientific models that unify quantum mechanics with general relativity...



Jorge Pullin attended the University of Buenos Aires
University of Buenos Aires
The University of Buenos Aires is the largest university in Argentina and the largest university by enrollment in Latin America. Founded on August 12, 1821 in the city of Buenos Aires, it consists of 13 faculties, 6 hospitals, 10 museums and is linked to 4 high schools: Colegio Nacional de Buenos...

 (electrical engineering
Electrical engineering
Electrical engineering is a field of engineering that generally deals with the study and application of electricity, electronics and electromagnetism. The field first became an identifiable occupation in the late nineteenth century after commercialization of the electric telegraph and electrical...

) for two years before leaving for Instituto Balseiro
Instituto Balseiro
Balseiro Institute is an academic institution chartered by the National University of Cuyo and the National Atomic Energy Commission...

 in Argentina to finish a M.Sc. in Physics (1986). Then he moved to the University of Córdoba
National University of Córdoba
The National University of Córdoba, , is the oldest university in Argentina, and one of the oldest in the Americas. It is located in Córdoba, the capital of Córdoba Province. Since the early 20th century it has been the second largest university in the country in terms of the number of students,...

 to pursue his Ph.D. which was submitted in 1988 to the Instituto Balseiro; his advisor was Reinaldo J. Gleiser.
He moved to Syracuse University
Syracuse University
Syracuse University is a private research university located in Syracuse, New York, United States. Its roots can be traced back to Genesee Wesleyan Seminary, founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1832, which also later founded Genesee College...

 in 1989 and to the University of Utah
University of Utah
The University of Utah, also known as the U or the U of U, is a public, coeducational research university in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. The university was established in 1850 as the University of Deseret by the General Assembly of the provisional State of Deseret, making it Utah's oldest...

 in 1991 as a postdoc. He joined the faculty of Penn State University in 1993, where he was promoted to associate professor in 1997 and full professor in 2000.
In 2001 he moved to Louisiana State University, where he is the co-director of the Horace Hearne Institute
Horace Hearne Institute
The Horace Hearne Jr. Institute for Theoretical Physics is at Louisiana State University. The Hearne Institute is funded by a donation of two endowed chairs by Horace Hearne Jr. and the State of Louisiana, as well as additional grants from a variety of national and international granting agencies....


Pullin's wife Gabriela González is also a gravitational physics researcher; she and Pullin met at a gravitational physics meeting in Córdoba, Argentina
Córdoba, Argentina
Córdoba is a city located near the geographical center of Argentina, in the foothills of the Sierras Chicas on the Suquía River, about northwest of Buenos Aires. It is the capital of Córdoba Province. Córdoba is the second-largest city in Argentina after the federal capital Buenos Aires, with...

. Pullin and González spent six years living apart while Pullin was at Penn State and González held a position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological education and research.Founded in 1861 in...

, a situation that was resolved when they both were hired by LSU.

Awards and honors

In 1998, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation
The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation was founded in 1925 by Mr. and Mrs. Simon Guggenheim in memory of their son, who died April 26, 1922...

 selected Pullin as a Guggenheim Fellow, and in 2001 he won a Fulbright Fellowship to visit the Universidad de la Republica in Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

. In 2001, the American Physical Society
American Physical Society
The American Physical Society is the world's second largest organization of physicists, behind the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft. The Society publishes more than a dozen scientific journals, including the world renowned Physical Review and Physical Review Letters, and organizes more than 20...

 honored him with the Edward A. Bouchet Award, recognizing him as "a distinguished minority physicist who has made significant contributions to physics research". He is a corresponding member of the National Academy of Science of Uruguay, the Mexican Academy of Sciences
Mexican Academy of Sciences
The Mexican Academy of Sciences is a non-profit organization comprising over 1800 distinguished Mexican scientists, attached to various institutions in the country, as well as a number of eminent foreign colleagues, including various Nobel Prize winners...

, the Argentinian National Academy of Sciences, and the Latin American Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow
A fellow in the broadest sense is someone who is an equal or a comrade. The term fellow is also used to describe a person, particularly by those in the upper social classes. It is most often used in an academic context: a fellow is often part of an elite group of learned people who are awarded...

 of the American Physical Society, of the Institute of Physics
Institute of Physics
The Institute of Physics is a scientific charity devoted to increasing the practice, understanding and application of physics. It has a worldwide membership of around 40,000....

, and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Association for the Advancement of Science
The American Association for the Advancement of Science is an international non-profit organization with the stated goals of promoting cooperation among scientists, defending scientific freedom, encouraging scientific responsibility, and supporting scientific education and science outreach for the...



Pullin's book (with R. Gambini
Rodolfo Gambini
Rodolfo Gambini is a physicist and of the Universidad de la Republica in Montevideo, Uruguay and a visiting professor at the Horace Hearne Institute for Theoretical Physics at the Louisiana State University....

) Loops, Knots, Gauge Theories and Quantum Gravity surveys the state of the art in loop quantum gravity
Loop quantum gravity
Loop quantum gravity , also known as loop gravity and quantum geometry, is a proposed quantum theory of spacetime which attempts to reconcile the theories of quantum mechanics and general relativity...

 at the time of its publication. Reviewer Jerzy Lewandowski writes "the book should allow people from outside the loopy circles to gain access in the current state of the art. But most of all it allows experts within this wide field to learn more about the original constructions which were invented and applied in quantization of gravity by Gambini and Pullin themselves." Chris Isham adds that "this is a most valuable addition to the scientific literature", while Hugo A. Morales-Técotl calls it "useful for an immersion in the subject."

Pullin's most-cited research paper, on nonstandard optics, studies the propagation of light within theories of loop quantum gravity and shows that these theories lead to predictions of behavior different from Maxwell's equations
Maxwell's equations
Maxwell's equations are a set of partial differential equations that, together with the Lorentz force law, form the foundation of classical electrodynamics, classical optics, and electric circuits. These fields in turn underlie modern electrical and communications technologies.Maxwell's equations...

 for light propagation in classical physics.
Pullin, Gambini, and Bernd Brügman also wrote a series of papers that make an important connection between knot theory
Knot theory
In topology, knot theory is the study of mathematical knots. While inspired by knots which appear in daily life in shoelaces and rope, a mathematician's knot differs in that the ends are joined together so that it cannot be undone. In precise mathematical language, a knot is an embedding of a...

 and quantum gravity, by showing that the Jones polynomial can be used to solve a quantum form of Einstein's equations.

Pullin is also known for a series of papers on the theory and numerical simulation of colliding black holes. Pullin's early work on the subject (including his second most cited paper, from 1994) involves the "close approximation" in which a pair of nearby black holes is treated mathematically as a single non-spherical black hole; since joining LSU his work on this area has been based instead on supercomputer
A supercomputer is a computer at the frontline of current processing capacity, particularly speed of calculation.Supercomputers are used for highly calculation-intensive tasks such as problems including quantum physics, weather forecasting, climate research, molecular modeling A supercomputer is a...

Another pair of his papers studies a simplified mathematical model of the radiation emitted when a star collapses into a black hole, and shows that it compares favorably to numerical simulations.

External links