Sudarshan's letter

Published : Dec 02, 2005 00:00 IST

EXCERPTS from E.C.G. Sudarshan's letter to the Nobel Committee on the 2005 Nobel Award in Physics to Roy J. Glauber for Quantum Theory of Optical Coherence:

"In the announcement of the 2005 Physics Nobel Prize, the Swedish Royal Academy has chosen R.J. Glauber to be awarded half of the prize. The prize winners are chosen by the Royal Academy, but no one has the right to take my discoveries and formulations and ascribe them to someone else!

"The correct formulation of the quantum mechanical treatment of optics was carried out by me in my paper in 1963. In that I showed that every state can be represented in the diagonal form... This diagonal representation is valid for all fields.

"... The irony of the situation is that in spite of all these facts being available in print, the diagonal representation instead of being referred to as the Sudarshan representation is dubbed as either the P-Representation (as if Glauber discovered and named it first) or at best as `Glauber-Sudarshan' Representation.

"While the distinction of introducing coherent states as basic entities to describe optical fields certainly goes to Glauber, the possibility of using them to describe `all' optical fields (of all intensities) through the diagonal representation is certainly due to Sudarshan. Thus there is no need to `extract' the classical limit [as stated in the Nobel citation]. Sudarshan's work is not merely a mathematical formalism. It is the basic theory underlying all optical fields. All the quantum features are brought out in his diagonal representation...

"It is my belief that the Royal Swedish Academy was impartial and that to assure the proper priorities it has a Committee in Physics, with members competent to examine and understand the published work. It was also my belief that the members of the Committee did their work diligently and with care. I am therefore genuinely surprised and disappointed by this year's choice. It would distress me and many others if extra scientific considerations were responsible for this decision. It is my hope that these glaring injustices would be noted by the Academy and modify the citations.

Give unto Glauber only what is his."Sincerely yours, E.C.G. Sudarshan
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