Rahul Pandit obtained an MS (Physics) from IIT Delhi and a PhD from the University of Illinois under the supervision of Michael Wortis. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Laboratory for Atomic and Solid State Physics in Cornell University. He retuned to India in 1984 to join the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, where he is Professor of Physics and Chairman, Division of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. He has held various visiting positions at the Ohio State University, University of Missouri, USA, Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Italy, and the Observatoire de la Cote D'Azur, France.
Academic and Research Achievements: He works in statistical physics, condensed matter physics and non-linear science, and his key research findings relate to: (i) Development of a systematic theoretical understanding of multilayer-adsorption and wetting phenomena on attractive substrates; (ii) elucidation of scaling properties of the spectra of quasiperiodic Schroedinger operators; (iii) development of lattice and continuum models for a variety of complex fluids such as microemulsions, micellar solutions, and systems of equilibrium polymers; (iv) development of a theory of hysteresis loops in model spin systems; (v) development of a theoretical understanding of superfluid and Mott-insulator phases in lattices of interacting bosons; (vi) studying fluid, passive-scalar, and magnetohydrodynamic turbulence from the point of view of critical phenomena; and (vii) detailed numerical studies of partial-differential-equation models for cardiac tissue to understand low-amplitude defibrillation schemes and the effects of inhomogeneities on spiral waves of electrical activation in cardiac tissue. He has also guided 15 PhD students.
Other Contributions: Professor Pandit has organized several national and international conferences, notably the 22nd International Statistical Physics Conference of the IUPAP in 2004.
Awards and Honours: Pandit won the INSA Young Scientist Medal (1988), SS Bhatnagar Award in Physical Sciences (2001), Meghnad Saha Award of UGC (2004), and JC Bose Fellowship of DST (2007). He was also elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore (1996).