Deepak Dhar obtained his BSc (1970) from the University of Allahabad and MSc (1972) in Physics from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur. He worked under the supervision of Jon Mathews at California Institute of Technology, Pasadena and obtained his PhD. He returned to India, and joined Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) Mumbai as a post-doctoral Fellow (1978). He was a Visiting Scientist (1984-85) at the University of Paris.
Academic and Research Achievements: Dhar's research has been in the area of statistical physics. He introduced the notion of spectral dimension and studied its role in determining the critical phenomena on fractals. This was also the first use of the real-space renormalization group techniques to determine nontrivial critical exponents on fractals exactly. Dhar's most significant contribution has been his studies of the abelian sand-pile model of self-organized criticality. With Ramaswamy, he obtained the exact exponents of the directed version of this model in all dimensions. He has also found the exact solution to the directed site animals' enumeration problem in two and three dimensions, and obtained the spectrum of the evolution operator for the totally asymmetric exclusion process using Bethe Ansatz. For slow relaxation in spin-glasses, Dhar showed that slow flipping of rare isolated unfrustrated clusters dominates the long-time tails of autocorrelation functions. He has also proposed and studied models of Stochastic evolution with strongly broken ergodicity as models of metastable glassy states.
Awards and Honours: Dhar received the INSA Medal for Young Scientists (1983), SS Bhatnagar Award (1991), the JR Schrieffer Prize (1993), SN Bose Medal of INSA (2001), and the TWAS Prize in Physics (2002). He is a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore; the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), and the National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad.