Arnab Rai Choudhuri obtained BSc degree with Physics Honours from Presidency College, Calcutta University (1978) and MSc degree in Physics from IIT Kanpur (1980). He then went to the University of Chicago with a Shirley Farr Fellowship and obtained the PhD degree (1985) under the supervision of Professor E. N. Parker. After postdoctoral research in High Altitude Observatory, Boulder, USA (1985-87), he joined the Physics Department of Indian Institute of Science (IISc) as Lecturer in 1987. He has remained there since that time, becoming a Professor in 2002. During his tenure in IISc, he has held visiting positions in University of Chicago, USA (1989), University of St. Andrews, Scotland (1991), Kiepenheuer-Institut, Freiburg, Germany (194-95, as Alexander von Humboldt Fellow), Montana State University, USA (2000), Max-Planck-Institut, Lindau, Germany (2002), Cambridge University, UK (2004), Eotvos University, Hungary (2004), National Astronomical Observatories of China, Beijing (2006) and National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Tokyo (2012). He has been an Adjunct Professor in the Indian Institute of Astrophysics since 2009.
Academic and Research Achievements: Choudhuri’s research expertise is the theoretical study of magnetohydrodynamic processes in astrophysics – primarily related to the Sun, although he has also worked on active galaxies, extragalactic jets, neutron stars and pulsars. The majority of his research papers deal with the buoyant rise of magnetic flux tubes in the Sun to form sunspots and the generation of solar magnetic fields by the dynamo process. He is one of the creators of the flux transport dynamo model, the currently favoured theoretical model of the 11-year sunspot cycle, and applied this model to successfully predict the strength of the last sunspot cycle. His two books The Physics of Fluids and Plasmas (1998, Cambridge University Press) and Astrophysics for Physicists (2010, Cambridge University Press) are widely used as textbooks in many universities around the world.
Other Contributions: Choudhuri has played a key role for many years in running the Joint Astronomy Programme, one of the most important graduate programmes of astrophysics in India. He served as the Convener of this Programme during 2000-07. He was one of the main organizers of the first Asia-Pacific Solar Physics Meeting (2011) and edited its Proceedings. He has been a member of the Founding Editorial Board of the journal Research in Astronomy and Astrophysics since its inception in 2009.
Awards and Honours: As a graduate student in University of Chicago, he won the Valentine Telegdi Prize for the most outstanding performance in the Physics Candidacy Examination (1981). Choudhuri has been elected Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences (2005) and National Academy of Sciences of India (2008). He is a recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (1994) and the JC Bose Fellowship (2010). His book Astrophysics for Physicists was chosen as an `Outstanding Academic Title of 2010’ by Choice, the magazine of the American Library Association. Two of his papers (Choudhuri, Chatterjee & Jiang 2007, PRL 98, 131103; Choudhuri & Karak 2012, PRL 109, 171103) had been selected as "Editors' suggestion" in Physical Review Letters, the second of these papers being also featured in Physics.