You are here:

Edward Witten was born on August 26, 1951, in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. He is highly esteemed in the field of theoretical physics and has made substantial contributions to string theory and M-theory.

Witten married physicist Chiara Nappi in 1981, and together they have two daughters. He studied history and linguistics at Brandeis University, earned a degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and later turned to physics at Princeton University for his doctoral degree.

Witten has spent most of his academic career at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. His interest in theoretical physics was sparked by the desire to understand the fundamental laws of the universe, specifically the challenging and complex problems at the intersection of quantum mechanics and gravity.

Witten has made pioneering contributions to the development of string theory and its evolution into M-theory. His work on topological quantum field theory, supersymmetry, and quantum gravity has been instrumental in the progression of theoretical physics and our understanding of the universe.

These discoveries, while abstract and often difficult for the general public to understand, have substantially influenced the modern world by providing physicists with a new perspective on the fundamental structure of reality. The technicalities of string theory and quantum gravity remain a challenge in the scientific community, and Witten's work is often at the forefront of these discussions.

Notably, Witten is the first and so far only physicist to have received the Fields Medal, often considered the "Nobel Prize" of mathematics, in 1990. He was awarded for his groundbreaking work in mathematical physics, particularly his applications of topology to quantum field theory.

While Witten's contributions are broad and numerous, one of his remarkable achievements is the formulation of the Witten Index in supersymmetric quantum mechanics.

Introduction to the formula:

The Witten Index, denoted as Δ, is used in the mathematical characterization of supersymmetric quantum mechanics. It provides the number of zero-energy ground states of a supersymmetric system.

Δ = Tr(-1)^{F}

Where:

- Tr: the trace operation over the Hilbert space of states
- (-1)
^{F}: operator that gives +1 for bosonic states and -1 for fermionic states

The following tutorials and calculators are influenced by the work the great physicist Edward Witten, each calculator contains a tutorial that explains Edward Witten in the field