Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in India and went to an all girl's school. I adopted Galileo as a role model in Grade 7 and wanted to discover new physics by throwing stones and feathers from the leaning tower of Pisa. I joined Presidency College Kolkata, India, for my undergraduate degree in physics precisely to achieve this. I eventually obtained a PhD in aspects of thermodynamics of string-inspired black holes from the Institute of Mathematical Sciences Chennai, India. In fact, my graduate paper on Hawking radiation from three-dimensional black holes written in 1998 became relevant for curved Graphene recently. I immigrated to Canada in 2003 and taught at the University of New Brunswick before joining the University of Lethbridge.
How long have you been at ULethbridge and what do you do here?
I joined ULethbridge in 2008 as an associate professor in physics. I teach physics graduate and undergraduate courses. My research group is active in solving puzzles of nature, like why the universe has background thermal radiation at about 2 degrees Kelvin. Why haven't the quanta of gravitational waves, the gravitons, been discovered yet, as the photons have been discovered as quanta of electromagnetic waves? I am also involved in investigating why there are so few women in physics and have published in that field.
What's the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is solving puzzles of nature, e.g. I suggested that quantum mechanics and gravitational physics can be unified with the introduction of new operators known as 'Star-Unitary' and 'Star-Hermitian' operators in the formulation. This might solve one of the biggest puzzles of theoretical physics. I have worked with students and obtained new results on how the image of the event horizon of an astrophysical black hole can be modified by quantum effects. Teaching the science of physics is also very interesting. In Physics 3175, a course in electrodynamics, one assignment involves building electromagnetic trains which the students can race and test for the fastest one.