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Juan M. Maldacena was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina on September 10, 1968. He studied physics at the University of Buenos Aires and earned a Masters degree from the Universidad de Cuyo, Bariloche in 1991. In 1993 he received a second masters from Princeton and then his Ph. D. in 1996 before going to Rutgers University as a post-doc. In 1997 Dr. Maldacena joined Harvard first as a visiting professor but becoming a full professor of physics in 1999. In 2001, he joined the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ. Among his awards are a MacArthur Fellowship (1999), the APS Bouchet Award (2004), and the Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics (2007).

A theoretical physicist, Dr Maldacena has devoted much of his time and energy to trying to resolve apparent conflicts between the general theory of relativity and the quantum field theory approach that works well in describing the three other fundamental forces (the electromagnetic force, the strong nuclear force, and the weak nuclear force).

image of Juan Maldacena

Owned by Juan Maldacena

His approach employs the holographic principle, which he developed, that argues that the successful quantum field theories can be thought of as a projection of superstring theory. He has written a popular description of these ideas in The Illusion of Gravity (November 2005, Scientific American). Juan Maldacena was highlighted in the Einstein's Dream episode of the four-part Big Ideas PBS series in 2003.

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