Deepak Mathur obtained a Bachelors degree in electronics (1973) from the University of London and PhD (1976) in physics from Birkbeck College, London, under the guidance of John Hasted, where he discovered very-low-energy resonances in electron scattering from polyatomic molecules. He subsequently did post-doctoral research in Sir Harrie Massey\\\'s Physics and Astronomy Department at the University College, London (1976-78) and carried out the earliest electron-ion collision experiments within an ion trap. He was appointed as Research Officer at Birkbeck College and University College, London in 1978. In 1981, he accepted an offer to return to India and joined the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai where is is presently a Distinguished Professor. He has been an Adjunct Professor at the Centre for Atomic and Molecular Physics, Manipal University, and Visiting Professor at universities at Oxford, Swansea, British Columbia, Aarhus, Imperial College London, and Tohoku.
Academic and Research Achievements: On joining TIFR, Mathur initiated experimental atomic and molecular physics research, initially setting up novel electron scattering experiments that discovered inner-shell resonances involving high angular momentum states in molecules. He also initiated and developed ion translational energy spectrometry that enabled an entirely new field of long-lived multiply-charged molecular ions to develop. In late 1990s, a transition was made towards high intensity lasers, initially in the picosecond regime, later in the femtosecond and few-cycle regimes. Molecular dynamics were probed in the ultrashort and intense optical field regime. His laboratory is now a globally recognized centre of strong-field research and his present work includes studies of attosecond-long electron dynamics and femtosecond-long nuclear dynamics in moleculs using carrier-envelopwe-phase stabilized pulses of 5 fs duration. Mathur also has a programme in Biological Physics based on ultrafast lasers, optical traps and atomic force microscopy, the thrust areas being studies of entities, like cells and DNA, in physiological conditions.
Other Contributions: In 2007, Mathur was appointed as Director of the University of Mumbai-Department of Atomic Energy Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences, mandated to develop an integrated masters programme embedded in a vibrant research environment. He was Vice-Chair of IUPAP Commission C-15 on Atomic, Molecular and Optical physics and is Co-chair of Asian Intense Laser Network; Member of the International Committee for Intense Laser Science; Former Secretary of the International Committee for Ultra Intense Lasers; and Executive Committee Member of the International Conference on Photonics, Electronic & Atomic collisions. Mathur has been a Member of the Council of the Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology, the Executive Committee of Nehru Science Centre (Indian Council of Science Museums) and Chair of the Research Councils of some DRDO laboratories. He chaired the Programme and Planning Committee of Nehru Science Centre, Mumbai, and was the Convenor of DAE\\\'s specialist Group on Advanced Physical Sciences. He was Editor of Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, and a co-editor of Europhysics Letters (EPL) and a Member of the International Advisory Board of the Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics and of EPL.
Awards and Honours: Mathur is a recipient of the Bhatnagar Prize and Eminent Mass Spectrometrist Prize. He has been awarded MN Saha Memorial Lectureship and TK Rai Dastidar Memorial Lectureship by Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science and also the LK Ananthakrishnan Memorial Lectureship by the University of Bhavnagar and the RS Krishnan Memorial Lectureship by the Indian Institute of Science. He has been a Royal Society Guest Fellow at Oxford University and was awarded the Fulton Fellowship by the Association of Commonwealth Universities. He was also the European Union\\\'s Erasmus Mundus Scholar in optical science and technology. He is a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Indian National Science Academy, and the World Academy of Sciences. He is a JC Bose National Fellow of the Government of India. He is a member of INSA Council and Chair of the INSPIRE Faculty Award scheme in the physical sciences.